Saturday 26 February 2022

Eldar/Aeldari Dire Avengers - Fallen Stars Shrine

    Carrying on with my slow burn eldar/aeldari nostalgia trip/updating project is another unit of troops but this time in the form of the first aspect warriors squad. When I used to play Eldar in 3rd edition I was very much a guardian/seer player and while I did own aspect warriors, most notably Howling Banshees, I don't think I ever used more than 2 squads in a single army, with Fire Dragons being my possible second squad of choice. With this modern redo, I wanted to have at least one squad of every aspect with a few having multiples as chaos is on the ascendance and the craftworld is having to deal with more threats so Khaine has called to more of the people.

   So, while Howling Banshees was the obvious place to start considering my history with them, I thought instead that it was better to start with the troop choice aspect, the Dire Avengers.

   I've gone for the classic dark blue, with white helmets, but given the back cloth the same graduated colours scheme as my craftworld guardians so that I can tie them back in. 

   One of the things I loved about the novel The Path Of The Outcast by Gav Thorpe is his description of two different shrines of the same aspect being different colours, so like normal, I've kept a note of my recipe but if/when I do a second squad I might not follow it, or I might adapt the colours of the helmet crests.

I've also seen the new Aeldari release going on preorder today, and while I plan to get both new aspect warrior kits, I'm not going to rush and buy them on preorder*

*He says confidently now

Thanks for reading

Wednesday 23 February 2022

Small Romans

    One of my main targets this year was to play some 15mm games to test my theories to do with the scale, which meant I needed to organise said games and paint some more models. With time to organise games being difficult so far this year - nearly a 6th of the way through the year and I'm a game and a half into my targets - so I got an opponent in place, booked a table and with the deadline looming, I got painting.

   With the last bits that I needed for the game being two units of auxiliaries (regulars and archers to balance sides), a general for each side and some scenery was a nice to have. Ultimately, as I started getting the last few units that I needed for the game moving, I got a bit carried away and started on what it may be said* was too many other figures, ending up with every flat surface within arms reach with a 15mm model in some stage of being painted**, so this post is what I actually managed to finish. . .

*by those with too much sense

**Most of which weren't strictly important

   The first units are the last Middle Imperial Roman Auxiliary and Auxiliary Archers units as these would allow a fairly even game with about 6 units a side and now mean all my Roman Infantry is painted**. Like the rest of the project these should cover me for the early 200's, but with a few allied units I don't see why they can't get me as far as the late 200's as well, so that I can play all the battles in the crisis of the 3rd century. As I think I have mentioned before, this might be one of the best periods for a wargamer to build armies around****, not only do you have constant Roman on Roman fighting, you've got the Palmyrenes, Goths and later the Huns all to add as allies or enemies depending on the period or game.

***Until I buy more?

****Plus it's historically one of the times the empire probably should have fallen which makes it interesting

   Next up and not hugely exciting but really useful are the Roman Generals. The figures are from Essex Miniatures and are all the same sculpt (although I added Forged in Battle figures to the big general's bases). These are not only to give each side a leader for Lion Rampant games, but also to future proof the collection for games like Sword And Spear (for later this year?) where you need a lead general and smaller Captains to relay orders. Again, I'll be adding 'captains' or generals for my allied/enemy armies so I doubt all 6 will be in the same game very often, but I figured it was better to be covered than missing a single figure later on.

   Weirdly, these 8 figures have been sitting on my painting table for about a year and have been in the category of where do I even start painting these, but, as it turns out, they've been a really nice mini project.

   The next thing I started painting, and I suspect it was because they were easy and I wanted quick stuff to put at the edge of the battle, was a flock of sheep with shepherd and some wagons, pack mules and associated workers. The small wagons and sheep are from Forged in Battle along with the shepherd, while the workers, big wagon and mules are from Essex Miniatures.

   Last for the actual romans is the start of my 15mm Roman scenery collection. I've still got another 5 or so buildings to do, but this was the point where the deadline really started to loom, so I've got together what I felt was a minimum villa complex to put on the edge of the board and more buildings will be done in the future.

   Lastly I have two units of Gothic cavalry. I could gush for hours about how interesting I find the Goths as a race, but that can wait until I start on that army properly. Suffice to say for the moment that in this period they are both the biggest external threat to the Roman empire (if you treat the competing empires as a single unit) and, arguably. the biggest source of man power with whole tribes fighting as mercenary armies and Goths being inducted into the legions themselves. So I wanted to get a couple of units of their cavalry painted for this game, partly to get their presence in early and partly to bulk out my cavalry and make the game a bit more interesting, with 7 units a side instead of 6.

Now all I need to do is play a game . . .

Thanks for reading

Saturday 19 February 2022

The Underhive - Other Companies Edition

    While the last scenery post was about kits I'd bought from Warbases, this one is a bit more of a mixed bag. 

   First up is a structure I built from a sprue of Industrial Gubbinz that I picked up from TT Combat. The sprues of MDF and thick card have been used on pretty much everything I've built, including on the Warbases stuff from last time. I'm not really sure what it is supposed to be, but its useful for building height and putting ramps on.

   Next is a couple of foam made concrete blocks and some ramps. One of the ramps is built from thick card in the same one that the small one of my first bit of Warbases scenery was, while the other two are from War Cradle (Wayland Games other name) and covered in Industrial Gubbinz and corrugated card.
The foam blocks were a test to see how they would look. I wanted some bits that I could just put ramps on without needing big bits of terrain and I'm not too upset by them.

   Lastly are a pair of towers from War Cradle. I bought these as the deadline for the game was coming up fast and I wanted some quick, cheap height to just fill a board while I carried on with the smaller bits around the edges. I was pretty stumped with how to make them look like they were built for a reason, and I don't really think I have succeeded in giving them that look, but they worked well in our game and really dominated the board so they did what I initially bought them for.

   The bigger one of the two, I made a couple of quick changes too. I put the ladders inside as I thought they looked better and it might store a bit more easily, then I cut a square out of the MDF to fit a grate from the Industrial Gubbinz kit. The rest of the gubbinz was added to try and make the structure look used.

   Then the smaller of the two structures (same height but substantially thinner) I went really simple with. I added a barrel on some off cuts and some bits to try and keep the industrial theme, but by this point I was really short of time.

   I've got a few other half built or unbuilt kits left to do, but as the initial game has now past and I'm not sure when I have time to fit another in, I'm happy to leave them for when inspiration next hits and get on with more important projects.

Thanks for reading

Saturday 12 February 2022

The Underhive - Warbases Edition

    In my spare time, one of the things I'm absolutely fascinated by is scenery scratch builders on YouTube, with Eric's Hobby Workshop ( being the one major channel that I can rewatch over and over again. Whilst I'm not brave enough to really scratch build I have dabbled with using MDF kits as scratch aids.

   Last summer before I really had any plans to pick Necromunda up again, I ordered a couple of kits from Warbases as a bit of a test bed for some ideas I had in my head. The first kits I ordered were a pair of Sci-favela Lift Shafts**. Something about the shape really appealed to me and with a little boxing in of the frame at the top, I thought I could make a big difference really quickly.

*And a Lego channel but lets not go there

**Annoyingly at different times and at the point where the local sorting office was overwhelmed and we didn't get any post for two weeks

   Most of the additional bits are made from a thick cardboard recommended by pretty much every Youtuber and I now have a pack that I am working through. While the photo doesn't show it very well, I was really pleased by my little bridge, which I supported with a pipe half because it looked cool and half because it meant it was strong enough not to need a base.

   Next  up was a kit that I have looked at on Warbases so many times but not really known what to do with. The idea of having habs felt right, but I didn't want one or two as I thought it might look odd. Then I had the idea of adding the Sci-Favela Tower to the Twin Shacks set and an idea was born.
   I have based this one but only because I couldn't work out how to make anything strong enough to work without one, but I don't think it distracts. I've added candles in a shrine at the back and broken bottles to make it look lived in. A liberal application of corrugated card hopefully stops it looking too mdf-y.

   The last one for this batch was a Sci-Favela Chemical Tank. This one I really wasn't sure on. I added it to an actual order of bases as it was cheap and it sat unopened for quite some time as I couldn't really get my head around how to make it look like more than a MDF kit with a can stuck in it, but actually once built it looked really good. I don't think it hides the can element as well as the lifts set, so I gave the can a bold colour to make a show of it instead.
   I've added decals and lots of bits to the base to really make it feel like people are using the area. Then tried for a concrete look to break up all the rusty metal I've used elsewhere.

Thanks for reading

Tuesday 8 February 2022

Visiting The Underhive

    This is probably a good point to introduce another big project for the start of the year, my first planned gaming session of 2022 was a day of gaming with one of my brothers. When we visited Salute (2021) I managed to talk him into picking up a Necromunda gang - in this case, Cawdor - while I resurrected my Goliaths from an aborted campaign that was started in late 2019.

   Cards on the table, these are by no means my best painted figures ever, for some reason I have a complete mind block when it comes to painting Necromunda gangers, so they have been painted but that's about all I'm willing to call them. The campaign they were bought for was played at Waylands over a series of months in late 2019/early 2020 but was put to a stop when Covid hit. I'd half painted the figures but had gotten no further and while I hate playing with unpainted figures, the scenery was bare mdf and no one else had painted stuff either, so my half painted gangers were a step ahead of the competition. So for this game, I forced myself to finish the gang and while I can't claim it was a labour of love, it was great to see them finished and on the table.

   I plan to do a couple of posts about the scenery I've been building but as I forgot to take a huge amount of photos of the game, I thought I would dump what I did take at the bottom of this post then go back over the scenery at a future date.

Saturday 5 February 2022

A Sword-Day

    Time to focus on the job at hand again. First up, my mate Neil has noted that I am basing my way through my small pile of Rohan and generously sold me his own backlog of Rohirrim at an amazing price, included in the box were 6 sprues of infantry (72 men) so while my initial list doesn't need any infantry, barring maybe some dismounts, those sort of numbers need thinning early on. My next painting batch has then been pushed back one slot and a sprue's worth of infantry jumped to the front.

   I've painted them identically to how I've been doing the riders, so nothing to add there. I also painted the foot banner that I missed in my last batch as it made sense to add it in here. Annoyingly, this is another one of those cases where the camera makes them look scruffier than they seem in real life.

I'd better get back to building my next batch . . .

Thanks for reading

Wednesday 2 February 2022

More Man Or Beast?

    This is another post about the result of an early morning of doom scrolling on social media while trying to convince a baby to stay asleep - although hopefully the last post like this for quite some time*. I've wanted to do a centaur army for quite some time, the idea of an entirely mobile half man, half horse cavalry (?) army just seemed like a really fun project, but as a mythical creature every company has their own spin on what they look like and rarely has more than a model or two in their range, making armies both hard to build (and being metal) really expensive. I've got 6x 28mm models from Otherworld Miniatures but struggled to work out what I would do with a single unit.

* Have I set myself up for a fall?

   Then as part of a 15mm High Elf army (not going to be completed for a very long time) I bought a Ral Partha character pack, which came with a Centaur hero and was impressed enough by it to put more centaurs from their range onto my shopping list. Then late last year, I got it into my head to buy two unit packs to test my theory. 

   I've painted them up with regular horse colours in their lower quarters and with Mediterranean skin and hair tones in their upper halves to show where they might historically come from. Something about blonde centaurs feels odd to me, even with almost blonde horse halves.

   I also tried putting the light cavalry (?) versions on a deeper base so that they look like they are in a much more skirmish formation than a fully disciplined charge. This is something I might do again for my Palmyran horse archers when I get to them as I quite like the look.

I'll probably end up adding at least another couple of units of the light versions in time, so sadly, I'm not counting this as a complete project.

Thanks for reading