Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Inq28 - The Sheriff and his Posse

Last of my resent photography session, with the same issues of sharpness and color. 

Here we have the Sheriff JB and his posse, of Slumpshire, a mutie haven in the hive. Even muties need the law, and while sometimes it comes from without, sometimes it comes from within, and a mutie rises to protect (or rule) his fellows.  Such is the case with Sheriff JB, a tragic figure in the mutie community, for he has a staggering intellect, but is far to misshapen to utilize it in standard imperial society.  Rather than turn to a life of crime, JB made himself Sheriff to protect his fellows, and "acquired" Blondie and Dogsbody to help him. 

Custom antique autogun

Sheriff JB, too disfigured for Imperial service

These poor fellows are created from a variety of bitz, and will serve as minor NPCs in various Inquisitor/Necromunda type settings. Bases, as always, are obviously unfinished. (I should probably just black them in for now)

Monday, August 24, 2015

INQ28 - Homine Piscis 2

Back in December, I completed this conversion, and poor little fishman has been rattling around in my paint box for a while unfinished.  Well no longer! 

As part of last weekend's photography, I managed to get this guy photographed, although again, the colors are off. 
Close shot of that frightening visage, and his chemical powered lasgun

I decided that the "lantern" is really a proto-eye, and that it is used to look around corners and such.  He carries a few bombs and a couple of reloads for his chemical lasgun.  Undecided if he will be a mercenary, or working with the Rogue Trader I have sitting around on the workbench.

Friday, August 21, 2015

INQ28 - The Vigil

Finished photos of the Vigil, a group of figures created to act as NPCs or hired support for Inquisitor games.  They are some sort of hired watchmen who act as police in their lower hive community. 

Photographed the prior weekend, they have the same problem with the color being off. (here is an older shot with better color
Team leader, with stun baton, knives, and laspistol

Stun baton created with a chaos marauder axe and a bit of plastic tube

Trooper with webber

built from a marine flamer and the trumpet from a skeleton musician

Scanner trooper

Classic plastic laspistol from some frames I bought when first getting into 40k

Trooper with combat shotgun

Here you can see what a pain it was to get his body to fit this pose, and in reality his shoulder would be dislocated...
All of these figures were created with the contemporary Empire handgunner bodies, and various bitz to create their 40k gear. The troopers all have a head cut from the 6th edition spear men bodies, which I feel gives a good common equipment look to offset the various assortment of weapons.

It is hard to tell in these crappy pictures, but they have dark blue suits with red stripes on the legs, white shoulder pads, and a number of leather items.

Basing still needs to be finalized obviously, but I am still mulling that over.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Pavement test

A long while back I had it in my head that I should make a test bit of pavement to try out the idea of using standard wall filler as a pavement/road.  The idea was that I would tryout this technique on a scrap of card and examine its suitability for larger terrain pieces.

The process was thus:

  1. Cut a bit of GW plastic sprue to be the curb
  2. slather the "pavement" portion of the board with wall filler
  3. layer of wall filler for the "road"
  4. repeat until all gaps are filled
  5. sand and add in pavement stone markings
  6. "paint" with ink diluted in rubbing alcohol
  7. repeat until desired color is obtained 
  8. paint on markings, add trash/plants as needed
  9. add pastel chalks
  10. seal

Here is my blurry result.

In person the "dirt" in the gutter is a bit less reddish, and obviously the actual pavement is not blurry!
Ruddy version of the same, where you can see the curb and detritus
I was particularly pleased with how the sponge painted markings turned out, particularly as they took all of 5 minutes to do. Anyway, it seems as if this pavement test is mostly a success; however it is not as quick as one might hope for, say, doing a whole city block of terrain.  Certainly suitable for building a photography set.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Chaos Champion

First of a series of photos taken this weekend of various finished miniatures.

Converted from a Reaper Bones figure.  I added the shield and replaced the head with a standard Chaos Warrior head.  I then added the right shoulder pad and sliced off the overly large integral base so that he could go on a more standard slotta. Still needs to have his base finished with some static grass and the like, but I will probably wait until I build up that Chaos battalion I got last year

I liked painting the Bones material, and it certainly was easy to modify, as a sharp knife sliced away anything unwanted.

Regarding the photography, I used my wife's new camera for this, and as you can see my results were less than stellar.  I need to try again sometime soon (now that she is around to coach me) and perhaps I can replace these pictures with something a bit more true to color and sharper.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Warlords to distribute Wargames Factory

Warlords Games is now going to distribute Wargames Factory miniatures. 

Which is pretty interesting as Warlords continues to increase its dominance of the "casual" historical miniatures market, and this will also expand their reach into the sci-fi market with the various zombie kits and the shock troops produced by Wargames Factory.

I believe that Warlords also sells the plastic Perry miniatures, and the plastic Gripping Beast miniatures , which means that only Victrix is outside of their store.

So an interesting development.

On a more personal note, not too much time for hobby lately, although I have painted a few figures waiting to be photographed, and worked on my converted Sigmarine.  Summer is busy, and the kids were very sick which cut into "free" time significantly.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Battle of Midway

The last few days I have been reading the Battle of Midway by Craig L. Symonds.  A very readable general history of the early days of the war and of course the battle itself.  The book starts right after Pearl Harbor when Nimitz is assigned to CINCPACFLT, covers the battle of the Coral Sea, the Doolittle raid, and then fairly exhaustively covers the planning and execution of the actual battle.

Prior to reading this book, I did not know much about Midway, other than that crypto intercepted some of the plans from the Japanese, and that the torpedo bombers were wiped out, which allowed the dive bombers to do their thing.  I saw some reference somewhere to how D-day was celebrated, but Midway was not, even though Midway was much more critical to the overall war effort, and that prompted me to read this book.

As this book is fairly new, it covers the most current research and understanding of the battle, which at least in a few cases is counter to the "received" history that many understand.  The author spends extra effort to explain what the crypto folks did and did not have on the Japanese fleet's movements leading up to the invasion of Midway, and extra effort explaining what happened during the "flight to nowhere" when the USS Hornet's attack element flew away from the known contacts until they had to turn back for loss of fuel.  In the first case the crypto folks had the date, target, and rough composition of the Japanese forces deduced, but not composition of task forces, or actual locations. In the second case the flight probably suffered from a combination effect of looking for a "second carrier group" (however, all four were operating together), and poor navigational technique.

This book was quite enjoyable, and given that it is clearly a "general history" rather than a scholarly work, quite readable as well. I can now say that I know quite a bit more about the battle and what lead up to it, and since that was the goal of the endeavor, it should be judged as a success. The book also made me more interested in gaming this period, and I spent some time looking at the (glorious, and at $20 per CV costly) GHQ 1/2400 ships.

Wargaming the Battle of Midway specifically would be difficult, since the battle hinges on the surprise of having three carriers where none are expected, timing of search patterns, and of course beyond visual range combat, none of which are easy to incorporate in a game, particularly without umpires (or computers). For that reason, it seems that a board game would probably do it best; however a search of boardgamegeek did not yield a clear "winner", so that avenue remains to be explored.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Age of Sigmar II

Well, I got White Dwarf 75, and it appears that all rumors about the new Age of Sigmar game are true.  It does replace Warhammer with some sort of rules light skirmish game, and it does have Sigmar Marines, sorry "Stormcast Eternals" as being the fluff drivers in a new era with a bunch of new worlds.

(Apologies for the hasty cellphone snaps throughout)
So the old world is dead... what is left?  Well, terrible "fluff", new names (Orruks instead of Orcs and so on), and I suspect new models being the only focus going forward. (There are rules for existing models on the website, but it seems likely that only new figures will be featured in the future, and certainly in the new campaign books.)  As someone with 4+ Warhammer armies, it is somewhat depressing, but to be fair, I have not ever played the game anyway, and was likely to stick with 6th edition when I did get around to it, so it is not much of a loss for me ruleswise... only in the demise of my beloved Empire.

After that depressing stuff, lets move on to the cool part about this post, which is the Sigmar marine included with the White Dwarf.  This is the first time since 5th Edition 40k that I have gotten a figure with the magazine (that time it was a Terminator and an Ork).  Indeed this is the newest GW figure that I have, since most of my kits are older.  I must say it was very sharply molded.  It may not be evident from pictures, but the figure is not a "press fit" one, in that the head, shield, and chest pieces need to be glued for permanency.  In the picture below I super glued the shield arm but left everything else loose. Interestingly, the pauldrons are split down the middle, even down the middle of the Sigmar symbol.  The fit is so tight though, that at least on the right side (the one with the symbol) you would never notice.

40mm base
The conversion potential of this figure, and indeed the others from this set is pretty good... if you are looking to make true scale marines that is. When the first rumor pictures started circulating, I thought that maybe these guys would be useful for inquisitors, but as you can see from the slightly blurry picture below, they are very large.  Fortunately they will work nicely as a true scale marine, with some judicious clipping, and marine arms. Mainly, I think that using marine arms, pauldrons, backpack, head, and a chest plate will be sufficient to do the job.

He is a large fellow

bit of a perspective issue here, but the head seems to fit nicely...
Originally I thought that I would convert the Sigmar Marine into another Deathwatch marine, but I decided that I did not want to wait for a bitz order.  Now I have a selection of Chaos bitz on one hand and some imperial ones on the other, trying to decide which way to go...

Monday, June 29, 2015

Comic reading

Recently JB, author of Leadplague, had a run down of some influential comic books, which prompted me to order some from the ever handy inter-library loan service. While most of the titles recommended were not available, I was able to get a copy of The Incal, and Judge Dredd Case files.  My wife had her wisdom teeth taken out last week, so I had plenty of time to read, and managed to get through all three books.

The Incal: The epic conspiracy
This book is part of a larger Incal cycle, which unfortunately continues beyond this volume.  Unfortunate, because this might be the only one I can get through the library.  However, the story that is contained here is pretty good, particularly the first part, which is set in a hive city and features John Difool finding the titular Incal. Lots of great artwork here, as might be expected from Moebius. The story gets decidedly weirder as it goes on, and the travelers featured on the cover here travel "down and out" so to speak.  The hive world scenes would be useful I think for Rogue Trader/Necromunda, and some of the other sequences were pretty evocative for gaming as well.

Judge Dredd Case Files V1 and V2

I am sure that most of you are familiar with Judge Dredd, if only because of "I am the Law!"  In any case, Judge Dredd is from a future Mega City One (the East coast of the US) where Judges are selected/created to enforce the law in a strict, and sometime brutal way. These two books collect most of the first Dredd stories from the 2000AD comic book.  These volumes are in black and white (as was the majority of the source art I believe), and I really enjoyed some of the longer stories that would have stretched out over multiple issues, particularly the Judge Cal sequence.  Plenty more of these are available from the library, so I will be getting a few more of them.

Happily Judge Dredd miniatures are available from both Wargames Foundry and Warlords Games (from Mongoose) I believe that the ranges are broadly compatible, but it is hard to say for sure without having them in front of you (and I have read that some of the Mongoose figures are not necessarily internally compatible, being from different sculptors). Foundry's figures are specific characters, taken from these early Dredd stories, which is nice, since I now know the stories behind the evocative figures.  Mongoose's figures seem more in support of skirmish gaming, and are more generic in nature (citizens, Judges, punks, etc.)

In any case, plenty of figures available to create some Mega City One skirmish action, or battles between judges from different Mega Cities.

Some of the figures would also be useful for Rogue Trader-esque games, which of course makes sense, given the influence of Dredd and 2000AD generally on Rogue Trader (and Necromunda).  In particular the MegaCitizens A and B would be great to mix in with more "standard" 40k civilian types, and more random weapons are always useful as well. Plus Walter.  Everyone needs Walter the Wobot.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Age of Sigmar

You have probably already seen these pictures from a White Dwarf leak, but if not...

New Sigmarites

By the power of giant feet and giant shoulder pads, I am Sigmar!
New Chaos
Yo dawg, I heard you like muscles...
Supposedly the contents of the Age of Sigmar (Aos) boxed set that may or may not be the 9th edition of Warhammer. [there is some talk that this is really a separate skirmish only game, and that "real" 9th edition will come later]

Have to say that I am not terribly impressed... the technical quality is surely there, but blech.  This is not what I want in Warhammer.  There was talk of this having rules similar to LotR, which would be good, but then again it would be even less like traditional Warhammer Fantasy than this looks like.