Wednesday 31 October 2012

Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad

We all know the oft quoted maxim that no plan survives contact with the enemy and this is the case with my August plan for the remaining five months of the year. However all was not lost and whilst I had planned to finish the Athenians, some more Orcs and the Zulus by the end of October, I'm happy that the Athenians are finished and that I have two more Orc regiments finished (and 36 wolves painted awaiting riders). Ok, no Zulus but as Meat Loaf says two out of three ain't bad...

So the question is whether to stick with the plan and move onto the Persians next month and ACW the month after or push everything back? Given November is a strange month for me, with a week off and a week working in Paris, I think trying to deal with the fussy Persians would be setting myself up to fail so I have decided that November will be Zulu Month, as painting them should be fairly straight forward, and I'll leave December as the planned ACW Month. The Persians will be pushed back into 2013.

I also want to finish the wolf riders in November as they are well progressed so I will probably concentrate on them for the rest of this week before clearing the decks to concentrate on the Zulus.

Tuesday 30 October 2012

Athenian Cavalry - An Army Finished!

At last an army finished!* :-)

I have just completed the last of the planned Athenian army for the Peloponnesian War project, sixteen Athenian cavalry from Foundry. I actually only wanted twelve, but they came as a job lot on eBay so I painted them all up in case the extra four found themselves needed at some stage in the future.

As with all previous Athenian posts, the figures were white undercoated, block painted and then dipped with Army Painter Soft Tone. I'm not 100% convinced the dip technique is appreciable quicker than my black undercoat technique, these certainly seem to take longer than the orcs but that might be because they are a much more stop and start approach waiting for the dip to dry, be matt varnished etc.

* Of course no army is every really finished and I am sure that there are many potential additions that could come along, but this was (by and large) the army I originally planned, therefore it is finished.

Just need to paint up the Spartans now...

Athenian painted running total: 

125/125 infantry
16/16 cavalry

Monday 29 October 2012

In The Jungle...

October was supposed to be Zulu month under the August Plan but not an "uSuthu" has been murmured in Blease Towers so I will be revisiting the plan for November and December after some more ruminating...

In the meantime whilst trying to finish off the Athenian cavalry (almost done now) I took the opportunity to put the finishing touches to some jungle terrain I had been working on and off on for some time now.

Construction is really simple. A variety of tropical fish foliage pieces were hot glue gunned to some old CD-R's, the base area then sanded, painted and flocked (well two have, I noticed when taking the photos I have forgotten to do six of the eight!).

Originally I had in mind using them in some 28mm Darkest Africa and Warhammer Lustria games but realised they they are so non-scale specific that they could also be used for 15mm Tusk type games as well as 54mm Burma Firefight games.

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Not My Fault!

It's not my fault! No, honest it's not! No, it's Boggler's, ALL his fault, yep, the blame is 100% his - entirely...

So there I was not even considering Normandy Firefight and not maybe, one day, considering some 54mm skirmishes set maybe in Italy or Burma, not in the slightest. Then was does Boggler do? The comments on yesterday's post with: "I have acquired all the requisite bits. The thing that puts me off is the terrain?"

Good point I think and go to bed. Then it starts niggling away...

On the school run I'm pondering whether 1/35th terrain like the Tamiya brick walls would work with 28mm as well as 54mm figures then having tea I had the 'eurkea' moment! Jungle terrain is generally non-scale specific, eBay and Burma here I come...

So now, thanks to Boggler and his conundrum(!) I now have bought some Airfix Multipose Japanese and British infantry (and some Afrika Korp, not sure why but 12 figures for £10 seemed good value when I watched the bidding war for the set one up explode on the list hitting £17 for just 6 in an old box!) and am spending too much time Googling photos of the 1944 Burma campaign - Thanks Boggler!!! ;-)

Monday 22 October 2012

Normandy Firefight

A little while back I picked up a copy of Normandy Firefight, Warwick Kinrade's "detailed skirmish combat rules from WWII" from North Star. Like most wargamers I buy far more rules than I will ever play but the fact that these rules were designed for extremely small scale skirmishes of up to around five figures a side and used 1/35th miniatures, my interest was piqued.

The rules are very interesting using a two second action move, detailed wound location and recording of ammunition expenditure. This might sound a bit too much but I was extremely impressed how Warwick combined the to-hit, hit location and damaged caused in one D100 roll (and I love percentile dice). Overall the mechanisms seem quite elegant and simple for such a detailed game.

I do have some reservations such as the lack of an overwatch rule to allow opponents to shoot at miniatures running from behind one piece of hard cover to another (eg. from house to house) but I think that I'd really need to play the game before critiquing further.

Will I?

At this stage probably not. The concept intrigues me, I used to love sticking Airfix Multipose and Tamiya figures together (and there are some in the attic IIRC) but at the moment I don't want to slip into a new scale. The game can be played with 28mm miniature or even 20mm ones but I guess much of the fun is using the larger scale models.

Even with one part of my brain saying no, the creative part is pondering 54mm infantry combat in Italy or Burma!

Maybe a project for 2014? :-)

Sunday 21 October 2012

Red Orc Regiment

At last some painted miniatures! :-)

This is a regiment of old Grenadier UK Orcs sculpted by Nick Lund. I've always liked Nick's style, much more Tolkienesque than Kev Adams.

As I will be using both Adams and Lund Orcs (as well as some old FTO Perry ones) I decided to paint these up with a different skin colour, opting for a red-brown as a nod towards the Red Goblins of yore...

Painting was some rough heavy drybrushing and layering over a black undercoat with some Devlan Mud washes on anything that looked too bright. They are dirty and grubby, but to my mind that is what Orcs should look like.

Hopefully I can get on with the thirty Goblin wolf riders I've had sat around for a couple of decades next! :-)

Saturday 20 October 2012

Paint Comparison Chart

I've just used the final dregs from my last pot of the old GW Bestial Brown on the bases of my Orcs. With the continuing GW price rises and my love of Vajello I was wondering whether Vajello did a compatible colour that I could buy - they do, Beasty Brown!

How do I know? By using this Paint Comparison Chart on the Dakka Dakka forum which should be very useful (unless you use Foundry paints!).

Sunday 14 October 2012

Back To The Painting Bench...

I've just finished painting some Grenadier Orcs. This is the first time in a couple of weeks that I've managed to get some painting done due to the incessant demands of the 'Real World' and a stinking cold that still occasionally flares up (cough, cough, cough). Once dry I just need to sand, paint and flock the bases and they will be done (as will the Athenian cavalry who also just need basing).

Now October is supposed to be Zulu month but this will now probably be later in the month when I have a bit of holiday booked in (I'm planning a bit of a conveyor belt approach). In the meantime I will continue with the Orcs & Goblins as and when I can grab a few minutes here and there...

Whilst I haven't been doing much painting I have unfortunately been doing far too much spending...

First off I got hooked into the Judge Dredd Kickstarter. This wasn't a great surprise as I love Judge Dredd and have been meaning to get around to some serious Mega-City gaming for a long time now (I bought some of the Citadel figures decades back but that went nowhere...).

This will actually kill two birds with one stone as most of my 28mm SF 'Lead Mountain' will probably be easy enough to use in the Dredd background with minimal effort (after all a ganger is a ganger whether official or not).

So expect lots of 2000AD miniature loveliness in 2013AD! :-)

Judge Dredd was going to be my last Kickstarter for the year but Eli (I See Lead People) Arndt has launched his own game company in the form of Loud Ninja Games and launched a Kickstarter for 15mm Space Raptors (c'mon how great is that?). Seriously, apart from supporting Eli with his cool idea, I have had for a number of years a hankering to play a few games based on Harry Turledove's World War series, based around an alien invasion during WW2. As the lizards in the books are around four foot tall, I'm hoping the 15mm raptors will work well enough with my 20mm WW2 collection.

Tuesday 2 October 2012

Before DreadBall...

Whilst there are some similarities between Blood Bowl and DreadBall, not helped by the cover for DreadBall - which bears a certain similarity to the Blood Bowl computer game... :-) there are more similarities with another, now OOP, game...

Before DreadBall there was another SF "American Football" style game around, Hasbro's Battle Ball. I picked up a copy when on holiday in Florida around a decade back and Saul and I played a few games, though I must confess it was not the most challenging of games. Sadly Hasbro (as is their wont, killed the game off rather than expanded it with new teams and advanced rules). There are some interesting fan produced advanced rules in this thread on the game here.

Having seen the DreadBall basic rules it clearly jumps up and down on Battle Ball and buries it deep, but it might be worth hunting Battle Ball down for the figures alone as they clearly will make useful DreadBall alternatives.

Monday 1 October 2012

My Kickstarter Addiction?

Apparently idle hands are the devil's playthings and I think this must be the case with me. I haven't had much opportunity to hit the painting table and get on with the Blood Moon Orcs due to a mixture of real life work and a bad case of Manthrax causing me to cough and sneeze over everything in sight. However it hasn't stopped me adding to "Lead Mountain" after being seduced by Mantic's Kickstarter project for DreadBall.

DreadBall is a SF football type game and I must confess that the original plans for the game were to my mind pretty uninspiring with teams of humans, orcs, dwarves and rat-men. It smacked of being an SF rip off of Bloodbowl and Mantic do seem to be acquiring a bit of a reputation of being producing cheap GW-lite products rather than being particularly innovative themselves (their SF wargame Warpath is especially guilty of this background wise with its own versions of Orks, Squats and Hrud).

However (game designer) Jake Thornton's blog proved interesting reading, the game mechanics (see YouTube video above) and play were sufficiently different from Bloodbowl and his ideas for the future beyond the initial game release quite inspiring...

So I decided to take the plunge, the game would provide some fun over the Xmas period and I do like Jake's other Mantic game Dwarf King's Hold.

Then the addiction took hold...

As more money was pledged towards the project Mantic put up options for Seasons 2 and 3 with some new teams that are much more interesting than those in the initial Season 1 game, as well as some cool MVP's. There are things with lots of tentacles, robots, giant robots, teleporting dinosaur aliens (now that would be good in Warpath), damn, there was some good stuff being planned. Indeed out of the next eight teams only the SF Ape team didn't float my boat and they're still better than Space Dwarves.

Oh well, in for a penny and all that. The credit card has taken a bit of a hit but not as bad as I thought as the process is in US Dollars and the exchange rate a lot better than I mentally converted.

Coupled with the Reaper Bones Kickstarter I can see I need to recognise that this could be an expensive, if good value, element to my hobby and I should not be seduced into buying into every new shiny project that comes up.

That said the Judge Dredd Kickstarter looks interesting and there are some good deals there...