Tuesday, September 29, 2015

North Star 1864 Sample figure

A little over a week ago, I was perusing some pictures of forthcoming Frostgrave figures on the North Star Facebook page.  I noticed that there was a picture of a mid-1800's figure, with text indicating that North Star would mail out a sample figure of this forthcoming range of 1864 Danes if requested.  Like a shot, I put in my request, and on Friday I got the figure.

This is for the North Star 1864 range, which is aimed at the Second Schleswig War, which besides being an interesting war fought between Denmark and Prussia/Austria during a time of political and technological change, is also the subject of a recent TV series.

Map of Denmark and the duchies in question
Below are a series of pictures comparing the figure I revived (one of the pack NSD003 - Danish Infantry at the Ready. 1864) with some of the various figures I had in the lead mountain.

1864 Dane right side

1864 Dane left side

L to R: Forgotten Glorious French Officer, 1864 Dane, Pulp gangster, Copplestone Soviet

L to R: Perry Plastic Dragoon, 1864 Dane, GW Steel Legion, GW Valhallan

A look at the face
As you can see from the above picture, the figure falls nicely into the "28mm" size, although it is a bit smaller than some figures in my collection.  To the eye, I would estimate that this casting is only 27mm, and it is substantially more slender than the GW figures. This may be in part due to this figure being a younger man, as you can tell from the face.  The casting seems to be fairly good over all, with no obvious mold lines, and just a bit of flash and a bit of extra metal on the bayonet which needs to be trimmed away.  Being unfamiliar with the equipment of this army, I can not comment on the uniform or the pack, but it seems to fit with the few pictures I have seen.  All in all, I think this figure would be great en mass, and would probably work out ok for single mounted skirmish type gaming.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Axis of Villains

This weekend past, I was staying at the home of my wife's cousins, and had the opportunity for some board game action.  Aside from the now obligatory 7 Wonders game, we also played a session of Axis of Villains, a game I got for my birthday last year.

Board late in the game
In this game, you play one of four super heroes from the Justice League, defending the Tower of Justice from waves of villains who advance relentlessly to the tower to destroy it. Each player rolls a d8 and a specially marked d6, which moves or adds villains to the board. In our particular game, the Justice League lost, partly though some bad batches of die rolls (I think I added about 10 villains to the board), and partly though not understanding that we should team up against pretty much every villain, regardless of apparent strength. Late in the game, as shown in the picture, we had three villains stacked on one sector and we were unable to defeat them before they reached the tower and destroyed it.  Even though we lost, the game was pretty fun, and its difficulty level was perfect for the late night.

This is one we need to try again some time, and it also has a fair amount of solo play value, as there is no reason that one player could not play the various heroes together, and the villains are already played automatically.  I also need to get three more d8s for next time, as the game only comes with one and it is much more satisfying to roll a whole handful than it is to roll the same die multiple times.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Forthcoming Tau

Rumors of Tau models in the future are apparently correct, as these leaked images show:

New really big guy "KV128 Stormsurge"

New mid sized stealth suit "XV95 Ghostkeel" Seems like rumors of this being a Riptide upgrade spue are incorrect (or there is yet another large kit coming)

New firewarriors

Now you may recall that I have a bunch of Tau, and that I even painted some... so I am of mixed emotions about these new guys.  On the one hand, new kits might be more things I am interested in adding to my army, or at least new bitz, but on the other hand, I am not really keen on these new firewarriors, and large battle suits are pretty pricy. We will see how it goes in a month or so.

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.