Sunday, August 28, 2016

Mixed Bag 3 - Time Bandits, Trolls and Terrain

"You see, to be quite frank, Kevin, the fabric of the universe is far from perfect. It was a bit of botched job. We only had seven days to make it. And that's where this comes in. This is the only map of all the holes. Well, why repair them? Why not use them to get stinking rich?"
     - Randall


"RETURN THE MAP! RETURN THE MAP! IT WILL BRING YOU GREAT DANGER!"

This week I turned my attentions to the Time Robber models from Northumbrian Tin Soldier company. I scooped these models up the moment I saw them, and they have been languishing on my painting table for quite some time. Oddly, I was a little paralyzed when it came to putting paint on these models. I even considered reaching out and getting them painted by an actual pro-painter. But this week I finally found the gumption to do them myself as part of an effort to clean up all the little projects sitting on my paint station.

Strutter, Wally, Randall, Fidgit, Og and Vermin

I love Terry Gilliam's films, but I think Time Bandits is my all-time favorite of his work. The movie really spoke to me a kid - I was interested in history and would have loved a chance to escape my rural homestead for an adventure. Watching the movie as I've gotten older has only made me appreciate it more - the dry humor and commentary on good and evil gives the film more depth than I thought it had when I was younger.

These are great, chunky old school sculpts.
Painting the whole crew was an exercise in varying shades of brown. Randall and Fidgit were a nice break.

I plan on using these models in a Napoleonic scenario - an idea immediately suggested by my buddy Rob - where each player receives a Time Bandit and must traverse the table collecting loot and avoiding The Supreme Being all while also commanding a brigade of troops! Should be a lot of fun and will add a nice mini-game to the larger battle.

The Supreme Being and the Time Gate are just 2D elements printed out and mounted on bases (with a little
cotton batting added for the Supreme Being!)

I also made some time to re-base some old GW Stone Trolls for Age of Sigmar. Lovely sculpts that just drip with character. I'm usually not too nostalgic when it comes to old sculpts, but these really do it for me - they are quintessentially what I think of when someone says the word "Troll". They were part of an old Ork and Goblin army I owned, and were name Bill, Bert and Tom after the trolls in The Hobbit long before those atrocious movies were made.

I've always loved these models and I'm really happy to press them into service once again!

I also cranked out another electrical box scifi building - some kind of warehouse from the rolling garage door on the front. I'm getting quite the little collection of these going. I'm going to have to give thought to building some taller ones and maybe playing some Necromunda again after a long, long time.

Don't forget to bring a Tau!
I also managed to get the last squadron of hussars done for my Hessen-Homburg regiment for Napoleonics. This brings me to 40 of the little blighters, so I think I am done painting that color scheme. Hopefully.

Soooo many colors.

I've really got too many projects going on at one time. I need to knuckle down and focus on just one - I've been promising Warhammer Quest Silver Tower for weeks now. UGH!


Cheers!


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Waaaagh Garlslob!

I'm now at 1,000 pts of Orks painted for the current edition of Warhammer 40,000. I feel like a complete lunatic for starting this project - it was mainly an out growth of wanting to paint some Orks from a dusty copy of Assault on Blackreach and its taken on a life of its own. I had a very large Ork army over a decade ago (which is now probably melting in an attic at my parents home) and I guess I just missed painting the goofballs.

Waaaagh! Garlslob in all its glory!
I'm trying to get in some games of latest edition of 40k to see how I like it. I'm sure as always it will have more to do with the company I'm playing with than the actual rules themselves. Otherwise, I feel like I can still use them with more generic rulesets and have a great time. Here are some "glamour" shots of the last units to enter the army:

Da Doc. He'll fix ya roight up!
The Nobz mob'z Waaagh Banna. I tried duplicating the boss pole
on the plastic Warlord model to keep a theme.
I'm torn between naming him Pinchy or Stampey. Time will tell.
The 'Undred Orkfirst Airborne. These guys are added to my other Stormboyz to make a semi-proper sized unit.
And here's a little gallery of them all together:

Da Shootaz
Two units of Sluggaz.
Da Dread and da Stormboyz
Deff Koptaz!!!
Garlslob'z Nobz Mob
WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!!!!!

I still can't believe I got back into painting 40k after all these years. I will say that the plastics were a dream to work with and convert. Having had to saw and pin metal in the past, and then pray it doesn't get knocked apart; I'm really chuffed at having an all plastic force. I may miss the weight, but I can get it in other games I play.

I did manage to get a couple of games in - my buddy Brian and I played a game of fast-play scifi rules I wrote up using my Orks and Tau. It went really smoothly and despite the fact that I got boot stomped hard, I'd really like to play some more games using the rules.



A few days later I got a "proper" game of 40K in against the wonderfully painted Ad Mech army of my friend Simon. Its been a long, long time since I played 40k, and the game hasn't aged well in my eyes. We had a great time playing a scenario I made up on the fly, but I think it was more due to the company than the rules. I'll still try to get some more 40k games in though - its the 800b gorilla of gaming so I feel like I shouldn't just dismiss it out of hand.



In the meantime, I've been cleaning up a few models sitting on my "to do" shelf. Once those models are done, I'll crack open Warhammer Quest: The Silver Tower and start putting paint on that.

Cheers!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Re-Base-Ening Revolutions

My mad, mad plan to uniformly re-base my entire collection of Napoleonics onto single unit organic edged bases (detailed previously here and here) is finally done. I managed to get my last French artillery battery done this week and the current army is all on its new hotness.

My collection of Imperial French.
Just like with the Austrians, I'm super happy with the results and the whole process was well worth the effort. It wasn't especially hard, it was just time consuming and probably the least "sexy" thing you can do with your hobby time - but it really pays off in my opinion.

The French Army command base
Artillery batteries and their limbers.
No creme filling here! Bavarians lead an aggressive assault!
A wall of horseflesh. 2 squadrons of Carbiniers and 4 squadrons of Cuirassiers.
Again, the army has a little over 500 28mm models in it from various manufacturers - the Perry Twins, Old Glory, Victrix and Front Rank make the up the bulk. I'm sure I'll add to both armies in the future, but right now they are in a good place to give some big battles with a lot of variety.

French line infantry advance while some Swiss mercenaries guard the Army HQ.
More infantry! The brigadier General model in the front is entirely plastic and built from several kits.
The Old Guard Grenadiers hold the river crossing.
Skirmisher elements harass the enemy from across the river.
I'm really happy with my decision to base these units on single large plates. It's given me the chance to do some really evocative modeling on some the units that I don't feel like I could have done on smaller sub-divisions.

The sound of muskets crashes and causes the front rank to fall! Press on brave Frenchmen! Press on!
The Old Guard form a square and prepare to fight to last man!
Mein Gott! Look out for that cannonball that just came to a halt!
I was also able to add ruined artillery and assorted bric-a-brac to the bases as well.

Cheers!





Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Re-Base-Ening Re-Loaded

Back in May, I wrote a post about my plans to re-base my entire Napoleonic collection here. I had sixty some odd units to tear off their old bases and attach to new bases along with adding sand, flock and shrubs. Its taken me about 2 months doing it here and there and I've finally finished up re-basing the first army, my Austrians. The French are close behind.

Ze whole Austrian Army in eetz gloree!
I kinda went in spurts of activity on this project but I'm glad part of it is finally done. I've still got to finish up my French army, but that only entails re-basing the last of their artillery. With any luck, that should be finished next week.

The Army General's command stand.
Crack units of Grenadiers in close order and skirmishing.
Each close order infantry unit is composed of 24 men give or take a few.
These drab fellas are units of Landwher - militia type troops. They were a nice break from
painting endless off-white uniforms.
Skirmishers are represented as larger groups in my game system. They also are lot of fun to paint as the
poses are much more animated than the marching fellas.
Man, I love the look of massed ranks of troops on the march.

The whole Austrian army is a little over 500 28mm models from Victrix, Front Rank, Perry and Old Glory miniatures. I re-based 16 24-man infantry battalions, 8 cavalry squadrons, 4 artillery batteries and 4 skirmisher units. Not too bad for the time its taken me.

Each artillery unit is composed of 2 guns, crew and a limber or caisson.
More guns and a brigadier general directing them.
7 units of Hussars from Hessen-Homburg. Or The Hessen Homeboys as I like to call them.
Still gotta do one more squadron.
I think I've finally gotten to a place that really makes me happy with this army. I'm sure I will add to it in time here and there but its an accomplishment I can be proud of.

Cheers!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Making Scifi Terrain The Cheap and Easy Way!

It seems that painting an Ork army has become my latest project and with that I realized that I didn't have much scifi type terrain to play games with them whatsoever. I wanted to remedy this and create some fast and affordable pieces of far future terrain that could be used for a variety of games - not just war in Space Rome but maybe war in Space Anime Japan or war in Space 15mm. I wanted a couple of buildings and I didn't want to buy commercial kits or spend a lot of time and money on them, so it was off to my local hardware store to scrounge for parts and ideas. I'm pretty pleased with the fruit of my efforts:

Now I have something proper to fight over!

All three buildings began life as plastic electrical junction boxes. These are readily available at any hardware or DIY store in the Electrical Aisle for next to nothing. Most run about $2-$3 US and are available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. The key is find interesting configurations that suggest something to you.

   

This junction box suggested a sort of hab unit to me. I added parts that I scrounged from my bits box - lengths of plastic rod, old slotta-bases, parts from dimmer switch I found for $1.50. I also cut out a door from thin cardboard and made a set of stairs for either side of the "landing" on the front. 

  

While purchasing the junction boxes, I also browsed the aisle for some connector pieces that I thought could be radar installations. So this box became a communications shack. Again, I just added junk where I could. The idea here is to just break up the broad surfaces with techno-texture to create areas of interest. I purposely avoided selecting sculpted plastic model parts though, as these always seem to clash with the homemade parts in level of detail. 

  

This box I turned into what I've dubbed the Hephaestus Class Omni Forge - some kind of industrial thing. Again, just more junk from the Electrical Aisle glued onto the box. Painting these things is super-quick. 90% of the work is done with spray paint. Dark colors to start, then lighter colors dusted over the top. I've tried varying the color on each building - having all your buildings in grey or gunmetal colors gets SUPER boring to look at and it isn't really what we are used to seeing in the real world. Each building took maybe an hour to build and an hour to paint. They were perfect evening projects. Here they are all finished up.

  

  

  

I built these three building for less than $20US and about 6 hours of work spread out over a couple of nights. Have a go at doing this yourself - its cheap, fun and looks loads better and is more durable than using the styrofoam from that new speaker system that you found out back in the work dumpster.

I've also managed to get some more work done on my Orks. I've added 10 Shoota Boyz and a Nob for them along with two close combat themed Nobs that will get added to my Slugga Boyz units. 

Love the cyber 'ead for the Nob.
I used some left over Stormboy 'eads to add variety.
The Powa Klaw will help add some much needed anti-vehicle
punch to the Slugga boyz mobs.
Another Powa Klaw. This is going to be a pattern. 
Now the Boyz have a proper place to pillage and loot!
Whew! Lot done since last time.

Cheers!