Friday, 30 September 2011

Chaos in the Old World - A retrospective

Chaos in the old world is an amazing game. Simply brilliant in design and execution.

The concept? It's the the Warhammer fantasy world and the players are the four ruinous powers of Khorne, Nurgle, Tzeentch and Slannesh hell bent on corrupting everyone and driving them to destruction.

The only thing stopping you from corrupting everyone is the forces of the other players (And some resistance from the board itself)

Each faction plays differently and they really bring out the flavour of the four chaos gods in the play style.

Here are my pieces from Chaos in the Old World, all painted thematically.

Khorne is all about the killing. How do you win? You chop up every other player forces. Khorne doesn't care who hes fighting as long as hes fighting. Khorne has lots of bloodletters and the beastly bloodthirster, but is very short on cultists. Khornes on shot at winning is to get stuck in early and often and attack the leader where possible. Best laid plans get ruined when the bloodthirster rocks in and kills a stack of cultists.

Nurgle plays differently. He's all about corrupting the biggest population sites in the smallest amount of time. Nurgle can deploy faster than the other powers as it's plaguebearers are very cheap to play. Left alone, nurgle can destroy a region in a turn or two and really needs to be challenged directly to prevent it running away with a win.

Tzeentch is probably the most fun power to play. Why? Because of all the wizzo magic cards and sneaky tricks Tzeentch can pull. Repositioning forces, teleporting around the board, ruining eveyones day by just showing up and some pretty amazing spells. Not a super strong power, but one that used well can easily win just by being at the right places at the right time.

Slannesh has always been my favorite chaos god. When offered a choice between an eternal life between

  1. Murder, bloodletting and war
  2. Rotting and pesitilence
  3. Magic and mutation
  4. Debauchery and hedonism
I know which one I'm gonna choose.

Slannesh plays defensively and insidiously. It's units are hard to kill and Slannesh can prevent fights from occuring and corrupt other peoples cultists. Slannesh can block Khorne from rampaging quite well at times, and can sneak cultists into other peoples territories.

All this amounts to Slannesh being an opportunist, like Tzeentch but with a different flavour. Tzeentch allows violent dramatic changes on the board while Slannesh is just sneakier.

I really recommend this game, the models are pretty ordinary, and the banners the cultists have are incredibly flimsy, but the game is very solid.

Play with all 4 powers though, missing one out kills the flavour of the game.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Look what I got right here


I lurked around on trade me for a while, got some solid advice from CMcD and RHRD about what to get in the way of air brushes and compressors and finally snapped up a bargain.

Now all I have to do is figure out how to use the dam thing properly. I've plugged it in and had a bit of a play but im sure there are many tricky things to be done with this.

One thing I will not is that it's quiet, really quiet.

I had been led to believe that compressors are the nosiest things on earth, but this? This sucker here is about as loud as the microwave when its on.

The bonus air brush was a nice surprise as well.

Its top loaded, which feels easier to use than the ones with tubes from a bottom filled cup.

And the controls are amazing.

The control stud (Phwoarrr) allows you to change the position of the needle as you work without having to fiddle around with the nozzle like my old brush (Which may end up being free to a good home if anyone wants it)

I have a rhino/razorback to paint up who will be the first victim of my new air powered offence

So, shopping online for a compressor looks like a good idea if you can get a good deal. Just ask someone who knows a bit or hit some forums before making a decision on what tool is right for you


Wednesday, 28 September 2011

How do you solve a problem like Battle Sister Maria?

So these sisters have been sitting in a box for a long long time  at my folks place in storage.

I didn't paint them

I don't actually own them

But they are at my house and the owner doesn't want them anymore. So I guess ill keep them.

Long story short they were a friends army who played a small bit but got a lot of models, he gave up the hobby and gave all his stuff away. We all forgot I had them so they stayed in a box for nearly a decade.

So, I reckon I should resurrect them and give them a new lease on life. 

The first thing to note is that they aren't well painted.

Actually, its a pretty ordinary job if you don't mind me saying. This is from a guy who claimed to be a GW store guy and an expert painter. He charged good money for this paint job.

I would be stunned if any GW trained person turned in a job like this.

So, what to do?

Should i keep them as is and use them as a reserve army?

Should i retouch the paint scheme, try and give it some more detail and depth?

Should I strip them back and repaint them in a new scheme?

Chances are, it will be the latter

Using the handy dandy sisters of battle painter on bolter and chainsword I came up with he following first idea for a new scheme.

Any thoughts and feedback on this would be appreciated. 

Of course, megapope will be super glad to point out i'm suggesting a blue paint scheme. As though painting a model blue is a virtue of it's own.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Master of the Forge - Sons of Medusa HQ

What happens when you combine the following models into one terrible gestalt? (yes gestalt is a word, look it up)
  • An Attack Bike
  • An old 2nd edition predator
  • A old 2nd edition Baal Predator
  • A land speeder
  • A blood angels techmarine
  • A cyclone terminator (2nd edition)
  • A Iron Warriors warsmith
  • A chaplain bike
Well simply put, you get the following.

A bad ass Master of the Forge on an attack bike with an epic conversion beamer. 

I am really looking forward to fielding this guy in a game. Every army needs an HQ choice to lead it, and I can't think of a more appropriate choice for the Sons of Medusa than this.

If your wondering where all the parts went ill explain. The chassis is obviously the attack bike. The blood angels techmarine torso forms the rider with the Iron warriors Iron Smiths servo arm on his back.

The Chaplain on bike gives us the wonderful winged front to the bike.

The old school cyclone terminator contributes the left hand that is functioning as a targeting device for the conversion beamer.

The Land speeder contributes the communications aerial at the back of the bike. (My land speeders are munted and have been consigned to the bits box of the damned).

The Baal Predator adds in the triangular armour plates that appear below the cannon on the front of the model.

The old school predator adds in the cupola and cannon that forms the conversion beamer itself.

I used green stuff to make the funnel on the end of the conversion beamer. It's not a perfect job, but making a funnel out of green stuff is a very very annoying task.

The last thing left to do with this guy is mount him on a base. I popped into GW Wellington earlier this week and grabbed a set of bases to use. The pack comes with some 40mm bases, some bike bases, some regular bases and a 60mm base.  I wanted to put him on the 60mm base but its just too small. I may leave him unbased for the time being.

Oh, the big cable out the back of the conversion beamer into the bike is a guitar string. 

Not my most amazing paint job of all time, but certainly the most conversion work I've done on a single figure. I may return to this guy later and do another level of highlights and detailing. Until then hes going on the shelf of honour in the games room.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Axis and Allies Anniversary - Part one

Our first look into the Black Vault and it's an epic one.

Axis and Allies Anniversary edition is a big game by any definition. It contains over 600 plastic pieces, the board is 120cm long by 60cm wide and the box is big enough to house at least 5 refugee families. When set up it takes up the roughly the same space as a football field and several real wars have had shorter play lengths.

Well some of that is exaggeration.  

I set out on an epic journey, and adventure of sorts to paint this beast. All 600 models, all 7 factions, all to a good standard and all historically accurate while still being game useful. One Month in and there were 500 models left to paint, three months in I wanted to tear my eyes out, Five months in it was done. If it wasn't for the praise and motivation given by the good people at axis and , especially Imperious Leader who liked the project so much it made the post a sticky, and Viracocha who liked the project so much he started his own impressive project (See his pictures by following the link above).

It was a long tortuous experience that left me reluctant to take on another project this size.

That was until I set the game up that is.

This made it all worth while. I tried getting a shot of the whole game set up but doing that means you can't see anything on the board. These two shots give you an idea of the grandeur and scale of this mighty game. The tragedy is I've only ever played online and never actually used my real set in anger :(

I rationalize this by saying that the intent was always to paint the game as a painting project, but really one day i would like to sit down and play this thing. Until then it sits on a shelf, fully painted but under used.

And no, I don't plan to put it on ebay.

This is the full tray of pieces, all 600+ painted, I even got the Field Marshall games special dice for those final touches on this project.

In coming weeks I will go through the individual nations have have a closer look at their units. I will be posting those up in turn order (For those who haven't played that means Germany is first)

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Army planning - Sons of Medusa

Ok, so getting down to planning out the army. I like having a pretty solid idea of how the army will look, and i like to build up to around 2000 points or so. That allows you to play some big games and mix and match at 1500-1750 points.

Chances are it will go slightly over 2000 points, but that's not really a big issue.

Also of note is that i have a big box of marine models from an old crapily painted 4000 point marine army that i am stripping and reusing. This will limit my selection somewhat as i want to reuse as many of these models as possible. (many models are wrecked or being reserved for a different themed army in the future. A hint is that my Sons of Medusa won't require 20+ jump packs but these guys will). I even started painting a small amount of them in the army colours years and years ago but never got anywhere with it.

HQ selections

Well I have a terminator captain, hes even painted quite well (not by me) in the army colours. There is only one problem. Hes an old model and the new terminators make him look like a midget. In fact all the old terminators look tiny these days so that's two squads from the old army going into the box of the damned.

So a new HQ is required, and it's pretty obvious who its going to be. A master of the forge is a no brainer for an army of technophiles. So I look up the master of the forge and i see he can have the servo harness or a conversion beamer. Seeing as started playing Warhammer 40,000 back in the rogue trader days I had to have the conversion beamer.  I then made a startling discovery

The master can carry the conversion beamer on a bike.

WTF? A bike mounted conversion beamer, that's just insane. A few Google image searches later and I found people had done just that. Amazing!

Also, bikes can look hot in the Sons of Medusa colour scheme as shown here.

Someone probably paid that hooters girl to sit on his bike so he could get this photo, a bit sad really. But the bike looks cool!

Any way I dug  into my pile of spare parts and found an attack bike to use as a basis for this model, HUZZAH!

Troops selections

Marines are not blessed with a great variety of selections, it's scouts or tactical marines. Digging through my box of models I find i have 15 scouts, at least 20 tactical marines, and a plethora of heavy weapons. That's very good.

I also found that games workshop sells an Iron Hands tactical squad complete with bionic bits

One credit card transaction later and these bad boys are on their way to me.

I also have a few techmarine models and decide to make these guys my squad sergeants (I may order some more for the other squads as well)

I'm looking at 2-3 Tactical squads and possibly a scout squad with sniper rifles. Close combat scouts don't really fit the theme of this army to well, but i really would like some variety in my troop choices and cloaked snipers look like a good option. A rhino or two would help out here as well. (the box of the damned contains at least 3 old rhinos)

Fast Attack selections

This army isn't one I imagine will use a lot of land speeders, scout bikes, or assault troops. It's not really the flavour I'm going for. (Also, the assault marines are set aside for another project and my land speeders are broken)

Digging through my box of marines (The good box, not the damned box) I find a Bike squad. Now normally I wouldn't think a bike squad would be 100% thematic with this army, until i remember my master of the forge is on a bike. He really needs a escort squad and the idea of bionic bikers has a certain amount of appeal. Also, I have the models.

No idea what to do with conversions at this stage, but i'll think of something to make them look like cyber bikers from a post apocalyptic future

Dreadnoughts totally rock

First things first, the Master of the forge allows me to take dreadnoughts as Elites and Heavy support. Looking in my box i find 4 metal dreadnoughts and think "BRILLIANT I'LL FIELD THEM ALL!"
Then i realize a few things.

One, that those dreadnoughts include a Furioso (can't field it) a Chaos dreadnought (too disloyal) and Bjorn the fell handed (too specific)
and two, I really really really want an Ironclad Dreadnought in this army

Look at this bad boy. If anything screams "I MUST BE IN AN IRON HANDS ARMY' it's this guy right here.

Steam powered seismic hammer that looks like an industrial mining tool? YES SIR!

So I settle on using my current Lascannon metal dready, buying an Ironclad and possibly another dready or two.

Other Elites

Fitting with the technophile theme I decide to go with a Sternguard squad as an elites choice. The idea of custom ammunition, high-tech bolter variants and combi-weapons really fits well.

I'll make sure they have lots of bionics to show their veteran nature and mount them in a razorback.

Heavy Support

Well, the obvious selection in the heavy support section is obvious.

A techmarine armed with a giant seismic death cannon..... it's almost as though this unit was designed with this army in mind. Gentlemen, I present the Thunder Fire Cannon

Now apparently these aren't out in finecast yet, and the metal ones are a pain to put together..... but hes so dam cool. I will certainly add one in. But that might be later on in the project.

The other selections are more contentious

I have a lot of heavy weapons guys, enough for 2 Devastator squads. I'm torn between having a dedicated Devastator squad or painting them so they can swap in and out of the tactical squads as optional weapons.

Devastators are very expensive points wise to field as a dedicated squad and at that cost it limits what else I can field. A compromise could be fielding a small heavy bolter equipped squad and putting the lascannons and plasma cannons in the tactical squads.

I'm also considering a vindicator, I have one currently, painted in the army colours but its an old model and the pain job is just terrible. But it served me well in the past and the new model is totally boss.

And of course, I can field Dreadnoughts in this slot as well. So many choices, if only dreadys were troops :)

Sons of Medusa – It ain’t easy being green

Alrighty, so the current project is a Sons of Medusa army for Warhammer 40,000

I’m already under way but I thought I would outline why I chose these guys.

I chose them for one reason and one reason only, that amazing shade of bright green.

Oh sure they have some cool fluff and some back story but none of that was around when i initially wanted a Sons of Medusa army (not long after the release of the 3rd edition space marines codex).
Seriously, that green is just that compelling.

Ok, so i clearly have a thing for bright colours, but beneath that shockingly garish exterior beats the heart of an Iron Hands successor chapter.

Now the Iron hands haven’t been given enough love in my view. They diverge significantly from the codex astartes, operate in war clans instead of companies and have close ties with the mechanicum. They also have a thing for ritual self mutilation and replacing flesh with technology.

So creepy technophiles with masochistic tendencies, that’s definitely something to work with.

According to the back story the Iron Hands are from Medusa and during some civil disorder in the mechanicum the Iron Hands split over ideological views. The majority stayed Iron Hands and the rest left to become the Sons of Medusa trading in their jet black armour for some super green stuff in the process.

Talk about teenage rebellion, “screw you mum and dad, im not gonna wear black, I’M GETTING A LIME GREEN SUIT”

So we end up with an off shoot of the Iron Hands, which seems to have kept similar ideology (Machine good, Warclans, Codex bad,  Techmarines good).

I will leave the exact army build discussion for another post, this is just answering the question “Why Sons of Medusa”

But I will tell you what to expect
  1. Bionics
  2. Techmarines
  3. Dreadnoughts
  4. A master of the forge
  5. GREEN! And lots of it!
I will show you how i plan to paint them however.  The Bolter and chainsword peeps have a handy tool called space marine painter, give it a go

Seriously, its so fun playing around with this thing.

Thats the core look, the bright green on the armour, white helmets, red eyes, white eagle.

The shoulder pads and weapons will probably change depending on the squad. Veterans will have some red to show their link to the mechanicum.

The tools of war

Well, before talking about anything else to do with modeling and crafting I guess we should examine the tools of the trade. Like many serial killers the avid modeler has a strange collection of sharp implements and cutting tools at their disposal (along with brushes and glues and such).
So what ill do is take you through my toolbox and show you the vast pile of random crap i’ve accumulated over the years with my modeling hobby.

Brushes – Pretty dam useful actually

Right, if your going to paint anything you will most likely need a brush (Finger painted Warhammer models don’t turn out to well). But what kind of brushes to get i hear you say. Well, this is an area where Games Workshop do exceedingly well. They have a good range of brushes designed for pretty much every task, with model painting involved. I tend to use only 4 of the brushes in my collection for 99% of the painting (I also never throw out a brush unless its completely munted, so many of these are old and worn out)

Citadel Large Brush for most painting, a Citadel detail brush for detail, A citadel fine detail brush for…… you get the point. The range is pretty self descriptive. Oh, I also use an old munted Citadel large brush for applying heavy amounts of paint or dry brushing (more on that in a later post)

Paints – because coating models with your own blood is stupid


I said Behold!

Are you beholden yet?

Anyways, behold my collection of paints cunningly sorted into two distinct piles. On the top is the citadel range, very good paints and they come in a wide variety of colours. The foundation and ink ranges are especially good. On the bottom is my historic (WWII) set from the Vallejo model colour range. These two sets of paints have little in common and serve different needs.

For painting bright and exotic things, go citadel. If you want the exact shade of gray worn by German infantry in the summer of 1940, go for the Vallejo range.

And if you get the citadel ones, paint the lids.  Otherwise you will spend hours searching for the dam paint you need. If you get the Vallejo range realise that one brown looks a lot like another brown when your not paying attention.

Modeling tools – Not for serial murder

  • File – for trimming off flash on models (the flaky bits on the edges)
  • Drill bit – For pinning arms and legs on
  • Scalpel – For removal of organs….. I mean for cutting things….. like plasticard
  • Tweezers – For handling transfers
  • Pliers – Honestly, i cant remember the last time i used those? (I sometimes use them to hold fiddly things while painting them)
  • Cutter – For snipping models of plastic sprues and heavy duty cutting (Have used on metal models)
All of these can be got from a local models/crafts/games store or games workshop. Although, one thing to note is the privateer press drills come with a stock of the correct sized wire.

  • Plastic glue – Use the tamiya one as it has a brush
  • PVA – For doing bases with
  • Superglue – I use the citadel one as it doesn’t dry out quickly in the pot. Use a toothpick or similar to apply.
  • Plastic card – Comes in different thicknesses and can be used for everything from scrolls to armour plating for tanks.
  • Toothbrush – For oral hygiene and for paint stripping (more on that later)
  • Ignore the little black lidded thing, ill cover that under airbrushing
  • Microsol – Awesome little product that helps dissolve transfers making them look better.
  • Cotton buds – for soaking up moisture when needed

What the flock? – Stuff for basing models

Many models have bases that you can decorate. I really want to improve on my bases in the near future so i imagine this stock will grow. Galeforce Nine have a very good and very cheap range of basing materials. GWs are more expensive and you get less but they are slightly better quality.

Ok, so this actually looks like a torture kit

This is my sculpting gear, and in all honesty I am only just getting to grips with the basics in this are.
Galeforce nine sells this apron with 12 double headed sculpting tools for not a lot at all. If i ever figure out what to do with them all, ill be sure to post about it.

Sitting on the apron are three clay shapers. These have been very useful with my basic attempts at sculpting by allowing me to manipulate the green stuff without using leaving grubby finger prints on the model.

(See big tubes of green stuff above from GF9 about 1/3rd of the price of GW green stuff)

I use green stuff and the sculpting kit to make custom parts on models or the help with conversions (Such as attaching a rocket launcher to someones head)

My broken shoe box – I need Better storage

I try and keep most of the gear in one place so that it doesn’t migrate to random parts of the house and i don’t step on any scalpels (Or that should read, I don’t step on any more scapels).

Whatever you end up getting I recommend having a good storage tray or two. Some days you’ll need to tidy up quickly for when the “insert people who you feel the need to be tidy around” come to visit. Also, if you have kids its good to keep this stuff in a locked box on a high shelf. Kids may find solvents and blades fun, but they should really buy their own to play with.

Getting Ready for War

Well, here it goes. I’m starting up this blog to record my modelling and painting hobby.

The intent is to provide and ongoing record of what i’m painting or putting together at any given time.
However, I will also be posting up images and comments about older projects, simply because they need a home on the internet

First things first though, I need to figure out how to use this site (Thankfully Ms. Vomkrieg is a veteran blogger and can yell random instructions at me in a style similar to the cook in downton abbey).

Secondly, I will put up pictures and comments on my current project. A Sons of Medusa army for Warhammer 40,000

Then I will start showing my back catalog of projects. This includes my painted boardgames (Axis and allies, War of the Ring and others).

Props to Bellum Malleus and the Megapope for giving me the motivation to get this thing going.
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