Monday, May 29, 2017


Back in April I made this post about painting up a set of AD&D Grenadier models that I had once owned in my youth. I got about half way through the box and stalled a little, but this past weekend I made the time to sit down and finish the entire group. That probably sounds more impressive than it is - the whole thing was only nine models!

Anyway, without further ado; here is the completed set of Grenadier model's set #2004 Hirelings from 1981:

A few stout arms and strong backs to carry out the loot from a successful dungeon exploration!
A halfling torch-bearer, a lantern-bearer and a "potion tester" according to the box insert. "Potion Tester" sounds like
the shittest job in D&D. I had to buy the lantern-bearer twice as the first one I found suffered from horrendous lead-rot and just couldn't be salvaged. 
Casualty-bearer, a generic guy with a backpack, and another gent ready to spike a door closed. As a kid, I had no idea what that third figure was doing - I just kinda assumed the hammer and spike were a ray-gun or something. 

And that's it - a little bit of my childhood reclaimed. Not enough to make me a normal person, I'm sure; but it was a fun little project and I'm glad I did it. Now if I can get a copy of Ral Lord of the Balrogs that might help me a little more.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Test of Honor Samurai

Clan Madu Uppu.

A little while back my friend Marky introduced me to Warlord Games' new samurai skirmish game called "Test of Honor". It was a fun little game and requires less than 20 models per side, so I was game to paint a force. I dug into my backlog and found several boxes of Wargames Factory's plastic samurai kit. I had picked them up on the cheap when Wargames Factory was going out business and had somehow gotten it in my head that I was going to play a samurai mass battle game.

The samurai leader of the warband. I wanted a color to contrast with
the greens of the rest of the group.

I had a hard time deciding on a color scheme. In the end I opted for creating my own and letting history be damned.

Unfortunately the kits are super frustrating in my opinion. The standard infantry model is 9 pieces and the parts are very fine and brittle. If I were to paint another force for the game, I'd probably look at picking up some metal castings from a company like the Perry Brothers. I ended up giving away most the models that I'd bought - mostly because I was having so little fun assembling the models for the resulting final product.

The shooting contingent. Guns are slow in the game, but they are cool, so I included them.
The samurai's personal standard bearer bolster's the courage of his troops.
As a game. I liked the simplicity of Test of Honor's rules. It plays quickly and is a lot of fun. The only downside in my opinion is that as a game its a little token and card heavy. Propriety dice don't help too much either. But again, if a game requires under 20 models to play you can probably get me to paint up a force.


Saturday, May 13, 2017

More Shootaz! And a Paintin' Tutorial

I have added 10 more Shoota Boyz to my existing mob this week, bringing the whole lot to 20 some odd models. Or, a proper-sized mob as you might call it. I had planned on doing this during 7th edition 40k as shooting was so much bigger a part of the game than assaulting, and I hope its the right decision for 8th edition (which I am eagerly looking forward to).

10 more jerks to join da scrum!
I also painted up another Nob to bring my Nobz mob up to 9 models and a Warboss. I think I'll add one more for an even 10 down the road.

A very slight conversion of making the power claw right
handed and the pistol in the left. Yeah, I still feel dumb
for not puttying that arm seam. Dag.

While sharing this guy on Facebook, I was asked for an Ork tutorial so I guess this guy is as good as any to show it on. Build the model and add sand to the base first. I always prime Orks black and then attach the assembled model with a touch of superglue onto a little painting post so I can hold that and not touch the model as I work.

Step 1: Basecoating
Skin - Vallejo Heavy Grey (sort of an Olive drab)
Pants - P3 Coal Black
Boots/Straps/Cloth - Vallejo Charred Brown
White Areas - paint GW Ushabti Bone over the Brown
Metals - GW Leadbelcher for silver and Vallejo Bright Bronze for gold
Step 2: Shading
Give the entire model a coat of
Army Painter Strong Tone Ink.
This step is really best done before you go to bed for the night, or
go out shopping, or play Diablo for hours, or whatever it is you do
where you aren't staring at a model and waiting for ink to dry.
It takes a good hour or two for this stuff to dry.
Step 3: Bringing the Color back up
Drybrush silver metals with GW Runefang Steel.
Give the lower areas of gold a thinned down wash of P3 Brown Ink.
Leather areas are highlighted with Vallejo Dark Flesh.
White areas are painted with a coat of GW Ushabti Bone.
Skin is given a coat of Vallejo Heavy Grey, leaving some recessed
areas in shadow.
Step 4: Highlighting
Drybrush the gold areas with a little GW Auric Armor Gold.
Mix 50/50 Vallejo Skeleton White with GW Ushabti Bone and highlight
the edges of white areas.
Mix 50/50 Vallejo Heavy Grey with GW Ushabti Bone and highlight
the musculature of the skin.
Step 5: Details
Add checker board pattern with P3 Coal Black.
Dot laser eye and tubes on Power Klaw with Vallejo Red.
Add some final skin Highlights on the lips and jaw with
25/75 Vallejo Heavy Grey and GW Ushabti Bone mix.
Step 6: Almost there!
Wash very thinned down Vallejo Red over the lips and mouth.
Drybrush the base with P3 Greatcoat Grey.
When dry, randomly drybrush some areas on the base with
GW Trollslayer Orange. 
Step 7: Tidying Up
Paint fangs and nails with GW Zamesi Desert.
Add red stripes with Vallejo Red.
Add a dot of GW Trollslayer Orange into robit eye.
Drybrush bash with GW Adminustratum Grey
Step Done: Being Done
Add a highlight of GW Ushabti Bone to fangs and claws.
Trim the base with Vallejo Black.
Add a tuft of grass using Gamergrass tuft and a dot of superglue.
Then go crush in the name of Gork. Or Mork. Or both.
I don't tell you how to live your life.

Yep. And dat's it. All dun. Its a quick way to get a nicely painted model on the board. Its not going to win any Golden Demons, but it will look better than 90% of the stuff out there.


Saturday, May 6, 2017

Shadow War Scenery

Shadow War Armageddon ready to rumble.
Over the course of this week, I assembled and painted up the scenery that comes with GW's Shadow War Armageddon set. Its really cracking stuff - highly detailed and able to be assembled in a myriad of ways. The only downside to the kit was the instructions - they were a mess of mis-numbered part numbers and really could have used a last editing pass - but everything seemed to go together in a logical way and its not like building the set wrong won't still give you an awesome and unique set up.

I tried to keep the kit as modular as possible so I can vary the set-up.
I used tiles from Dust Tactics for a board to lay the scenery out on.
Once again, I tackled the bulk of the paint work with spray cans and drybrushing. After assembly, I primed everything black and once that was dry I spray painted everything with Rustoleum Aged Bronze (a near identical match to GW's Leadbelcher). The next step was to drybrush GW Trollslayer Orange and Vallejo Jade Green randomly across the structure. A final highlight of GW Runefang Silver was then drybrushed all over to tie the room together.

I like to vary up colors so the board isn't so monotone.
Love all the little details they've added across all this stuff.
The "painted" areas of yellow or green were painted by stippling (dotting the paint) the color on, giving a worn chipped look. No special salts or brushes needed! Finally, rust streaks were added with a small brush using thinned down P3 Brown Ink. Easy peasy.

Regardless of the rest of the kit, this piece sold me.
More Skulls! Hang those who say "less"! More I say! More!
In the meantime, I'm adding some more Orks to my 40k army in anticipation of the new edition. I'm super excited for the changes coming down the pipe.


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Nerdcation Part 3 - In the Grim Darkness of the Far Future

There Is Only Models. Lots. And Lots. Of Models.

Holy sugar-shit, these displays. While I love fantasy and Age of Sigmar, the Warhammer 40,000 universe really lends itself to epic, over-the-top scenes. And the 40k section of Warhammer World did not disappoint.

Tyranids assault a Space Wolf stronghold.
Love that defense laser.
Astra Militarum entrenched and ready to defend.
All the Shadow War Scenery in one place!
I can't even imagine reaching into to play a game.
An Inquisitorial team arrives to a Genestealer cult welcome!
Prospero Burns!
Love the Egyptian-style scenery.
So much battle. Very carnage. Wow.

Every Guard player's dream.
I love the armored train in the background.

Iron Hands vs. The Emporer's Children

Last Stand.
Land Raider Assault.
Ferrus Manus and Fulgrim battle it out in the center. 
The battle of Rynn's World - and classic cover of Rogue Trader!
We have a Valkyrie down. We have a Valkyrie down.
Skitarii and Titans flush out a nest of Tau.
Hold the line!
Love the lava effects.

This display took up a whole room and almost 2 floors.
Lighting effects cycled throughout the display.
Clash of Titans.
Sieze the bridge!
Not picture: a LOT of DO NOT TOUCH signs.

The cityscape was breath-taking.
This could almost be mistaken for a 6mm Epic game.
Blood fer da Blood Gerd!
Drop Pods smash into the tower.
A view from on high.
Heading down the stairs.
The Ultramarines stem the tide.
You can see a woman resting on the stairs for scale.

Love the colors.

The carnage! The carnage!

There was so much more to see. This is just a fraction of what was there. It was truly a magnificent exhibition. If I get the chance to return, I would certainly budget more time in Nottingham. It is a lovely city and the people were kinder to me than I could have imagined. I managed to meet some folks in the industry and they treated me like a prodigal son. I can't thank them enough.