Monday, November 27, 2023

A Project for a Painting Challenge

Feel the Dogs of War nostalgia!!

Well, it's that time of year - yes, another Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge is on the horizon. This will be the 14th edition of the Painting Challenge, hosted by Fawcett Conscript Founding Member Curt, and I have the honour of participating once again as a "minion" helping to shepherd the manic posting of the participants along through the winter. Dallas will be joining me in the minion duties, and both of us will also be participating in the Challenge - hopefully joined by several other Conscripts as well. 

Experience in the Painting Challenge has taught me one thing - that a challenge goes best with, well, you know, a challenge. Now, over the years, I have accumulated all manner of figures for projects new and old on the premise that I will "paint them up for the Challenge". This has worked better at some times than others, but in general Curt's Painting Challenges have often served as a great base to get some projects really moving. I am hoping to "kick things up a notch" this year with one particular project - a Dogs of War army for Warhammer Fantasy Battle.

Pikeman and Venators...

Most of us in the hobby have a "first army" they started out with (maybe a few of them LOL), but for me, the Dogs of War was it. I painted up a Dogs of War force and took it to a local WHFB tournament in Winnipeg, organized by Byron M and others, and it was there, in 1999 that I first met Curt! The tournament was a lot of fun, and meeting people you are friends with 24 years later is pretty great too!

Galloping guns, crossbowmen and Mydas the Mean to manage the budget!

Being a foolish youth, I ultimately sold my old Dogs of War army around 2001 or so. My interests were moving into other hobby areas, and, I thought to myself, "what is the worst that could happen? Would GW kill off WHFB or something and bin the miniatures? Of course not...right? Right?" Well, of course, I was wrong - GW could, and did, kill all manner of its games, business being business and all that. Now, of course, I save all of these painted figures (like, too many of them), but the Dogs of War were lost, and any idle searches I made turned up precious few figures and models for sale.

Fast forward to this summer and fall...Dallas spots some classic Dogs of War boxes on sale at the collector's section of The Sentry Box while visiting in Calgary (truly an amazing hobby destination). Suddenly, I'm intrigued, as I had written off the idea of ever finding enough models to recreate my old army. But I tell myself, "well, a couple of extra regiments for my existing Empire collection would be lovely!", and Dallas kindly picks them up for me.

Then, Dallas makes a trip to the Chicago area, and visits Noble Knight games...and I'm spotting boxes of Dogs of War pikemen...and then I found a few on eBay, then a few more...and it was ON. "This will be perfect for the Painting Challenge!" Thanks to Dallas' heroic hobby-sherpa efforts, this project is rolling, and I now have a rather central point around which I should focus a lot (never all) of my painting attention over the winter.

The classic army book!

Assembling these boxes and packs (as well as a few loose spare pikemen) over the past few months has been a bit of a fun exercise in itself, but I'm looking forward to getting cracking on them all once the 14th edition of the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge kicks off in late December. So watch this space...and hopefully we might see a game next year against Dallas' Skaven...?

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Test Models!

So we are preparing for the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge and that means some new projects!

Above you can see the first three models I've painted for a new Early Imperial Romans/Ancient Germans project. I've had these Foundry models for a decade? or more? and decided it's time to get going (I've also got some Warlord plastic Veteran Legionaries and Auxilia to paint). Lorica segmentata has always been my favourite form of Roman armour and the scutum insignia is hand-painted. And while I intend to play mostly skirmish games with them (SPQR maybe?) I put them on square bases just because square bases... and Warhammer Ancient Battles is still a thing!

Next up is a test for another Space Marine Legion for Horus Heresy gaming. The impetus for this was buying the new Legiones Astartes Battle Group deal, thirty MKIII Space Marines, a Deredeo Dreadnought and a Land Raider Proteus. Since I already have a cubic yard of Iron Warriors and many many Blood Drinkers for Heresy gaming, as well as Black Templars, Deathwing and Howling Griffons for 40K, the rational (!) response was to start a new Legion for Heresy gaming. 

And the winner was... the VI Legion, the Space Wolves. This is coming full circle in a way because the first RTB-01 Space Marines I painted back in the late '80s were... Space Wolves. This model is a resin assault Marine in MKV armour equipped with chainsword, bolt pistol and jump pack. I like the new MKIII Marines - mostly - with the exception of the spiked helmets which are cool for Death Guard but for any other Legion, to me look kinda dumb. And while the models themselves are bigger than the old MKIIIs, the helmets are somehow smaller? I don't get that. My MKIII Marines will use the helmeted heads I've already had 3D printed.

The paint scheme starts with Mechanicus Standard Grey, washed with Agrax, then overpainted Fenris Grey, washed with Nuln Oil, then brightened up again with a bit of Fenris. Brassy bits are Scorpion Brass.

I reckon these projects (among others) should keep me going over the winter...

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Idols of Torment: the Insatiate!

Okay, so you guys know about the Idols of Torment skirmish game that some of us helped playtest. Well we're meeting up with the designers this week to snag some Kickstarter goodies so I thought I'd better finish up painting the 3D-printed models I got from the guys.  

The faction ("order" in IoT parlance) is the Insatiate - just one of the horrible gangs of demons that one can play in the game.

The sculpts and prints are quite exquisite and very detailed, but this means they're also quite fragile... I broke several just in the process of painting them.

They'll be fun to play with in the game but they are quite large - those are 32mm bases you see in the pics.

Here's the Totem, a big treasure chalice.

These dudes are pretty cool but I'm thinking I should've maybe gotten some of the more nurgle-y ones, I find that style much easier to paint. But anyway these are done and I also have my other Idols gang too!

Monday, November 20, 2023

Warmaster Battle Report!

Last Thursday Conscript Greg was in town, and as previously planned, he brought two Warmaster armies with him to put on a game! The armies were both old-school GW metal models and looked fantastic - Orcs and Empire!

Conscripts Mike F. and Dave (but mostly Mike F.) ran the Orc horde while Greg and I commanded the Empire army. The scenario was pretty straightforward - the adversaries were battling over control of the ruined tower in the middle of the battlefield.
We deployed the Empire army on both sides of the wood in the middle of our side. On our left was a solid block of three halberdier units fronted by crossbowmen, a battery of two cannon, and another crossbow unit.
Over on our right we deployed two rock-hard units of Knights with some more halberdiers and crossbowmen. The plan was to send the Knights around the Orc left flank while the rest of the army fronted the enemy.
The orcs had their own ideas! They deployed in a huge brigade in the middle with Trolls and goblins off on their right flank advancing on the tower.

Knights charge the Orc left flank! It didn't go great for the Orcs,
Meanwhile the Empire age was whizzing around making a nuisance of himself with his fiery ball spell (it worked once). But he made sure to get well out of the way when the Knights got into position for a charge on the Orc brigade. Fortunately for those orcs they were able to "left-face" and avoid a flank charge from the knights.
An excellent fight resulted - the mage even helped by casting an opportune Weird Enchantment on the orcs - they subsequently suffered -1 Attack per stand and treated all enemies as terrifying. Came in really handy for the Knights as they ran through and wiped out both units facing them.
Meanwhile back on the left flank the orcs were charging forward, led by the Trolls. The brave crossbowmen at the front of the halberdier brigade fought them to a standstill then wisely withdrew to the rear, leaving the halberdiers to face them. The cannons at the left pivoted and let fly, driving the Trolls off to the Empire right. Before that they'd blown up a bunch of goblins.

But the main Orc assault was yet to come, the Orc general joined a unit of Warriors and in they went. It went pretty well for the greens at first as they kept winning combats, but at the last the remaining halberdiers steeled themselves for one last effort and inflicted enough wounds to wipe out the attacking unit... and with it the Orc general. Game over.

Man this game was fun, we hadn't played Warmaster in years and years. And the armies looked fantastic. Even at about a thousand points a side this made for a great game!

More 15mm Imperial Fists for 30k

More 15mm members of the VII Legion Astartes. 3d printed figures.

Thanks to Byron and his mad skillz with 3D printing, my quixotic 30k-in-15mm project continues! Here we have a couple more elements painted up in the colours of the VI Legion Astartes, the Imperial Fists. There is another veteran tactical squad, and also a standard bearer accompanied by two "chosen" (i.e. support guy/guards). There is a mix of armour variants here, but most are wearing Mk III powered armour. 

Close up showing one of the support weapons, a missile launcher.

The veteran squad has heavy and special weapon support courtesy of a missile launcher and a melta gun.

Melta gunner on the right, and squad leader on the left.

If you look closely, you can see evidence of my thin brain power...for some reason, I mixed up the pattern of the some have their legion symbol on the right-hand plate, and others on the left. This sort of variance would normally drive me to such madness as to re-paint and re-decal the areas in question, but these smaller decals are at a premium so...I'll just assume this is some kind of squad full of misfits that Rogal Dorn dislikes. 

Flags FTW! Banner bearer and a pair of "chosen" bodyguards.

I remain astonished at the sort of detail, even in abstract, that printed 3D models can deliver.

I always love ensuring there is a flag-bearer for my Space Marines in any scale...bringing a banner to such battles is so delightfully silly, and my 15mm Imperial Fists will now have this fellow to rally around. The two "chosen" guards have their helmets painted in veteran colours - red helmets with a white stripe. The effect at this scale is a bit striking, and maybe a little odd, but I'm sticking with it. 

A couple more of the regular Marines. I believe Byron has taken STLs intended for "Epic"/6mm size, and increased them significantly in order to make these...the effect is still tremendous, I love it.

The veteran squad, ready for action.

That's all for this post, but stay tuned for more!

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

More Auralan Wardens for Age of Sigmar

A unit of Auralan Wardens, 28mm plastic AoS figures from GW.

There has been a lot of travel, and a lot of travel for work, for me over the past several weeks. This is not great for hobbying (although work pays for hobbies, so, you know). Despite the challenges, I have been managing to paint. Where I have been really been falling down on the whole "post stuff" side of the painting equation. Time to remedy that with a few posts here as fall approaches. Up first, we have something of an abrupt break of the recent run of 30k content - a unit of Auralan Wardens from the Lumineth Realm Lord faction (a.k.a. "high elves"), multi-part plastic figures from GW's Age of Sigmar setting.

Long, pointy spears on these out, bad guys!

I started painting GW's Lumineth Realm Lords new high elves back in the spring. I had tried a demo game of AoS in that period at the FLGS in Sault Ste Marie, and had a fun time. As a replacement for Warhammer Fantasy Battle, just isn't. I know WHFB fans have strong feelings about AoS (myself included), but a fun game is a fun game, and I enjoyed AoS. Hence, the Lumineth Realm Lord new high elf project.

View showing the rear detail on the figures - and, once more, how long those spears are...practically pikes (although still not as long as a pike)

Another view showing some of the side and rear detail.

And the project made great progress. I got nearly all of the models I had purchased painted. Not bad! But note the "nearly" in that preceding sentence...yes, when it came to this last group of elves, I faltered. I had already painted one unit of these troops, and I thought it would make sense to have a second unit of these guys in the collection, as they seem like solid basic troops to build the fancier stuff in the army list around. I duly assembled these models back in the spring, primed them, and even painted one of them...and then, something else came up....

Officer to lead the unit. Only an elf would bring a wand and a lamp to a fight...and still seem scary...

Again, the details on the sculpting of these plastic figures is really something, very nicely done.

And then they sat there, as my hobby-squirrel-brain chased other stuff. So nearly six months and 50 or so Space Marines later, I thought it was time to finally clear these out of the pending pile. Painting the things you had been procrastinating around always feels a bit like trying to push your paintbrush through some kind of mind-numbing fog, but I got it done, here they are, and the initial little Age of Sigmar project is complete at last.

Getting this unit finished was something akin to "clearing the baffles", knocking off a unit that had been sitting, primed and ready to go for months. I even had one figure painted, but the other nine just sat there in their black undercoat and their really long spears getting in the way and knocking everything else on the hobby table over when I moved them around.

Really like the poses of these warriors.

These fellows have yet to see a game - and truth be told, I have no idea when they will, as work-related travel essentially consumes all opportunities to game or try and game in either Sault Ste Marie or Toronto. But that is no reason to stop painting, is it? Glad to have these fellows finished.

The officer pose looks even better massed in a group...

It would seem GW is close to re-releasing "Warhammer Fantasy Battle" in the guise of "Warhammer - The Old World". Personally, I'll believe when I see it, and I feel for the WHFB fans who have been jerked around by GW by years of vapour-adjacent teaser-style marketing efforts ("Look! A map!" "Look! A Brettonian!" "Look, an arm holding a weapon!"). If and when "The Older World" actually makes a commercial appearance, it will be interesting to see what happens to AoS...but lets hope that, in the meantime, I get these guys on to the table for at least one game...

Ready for a battle...sometime...I hope...

That's all the rambling I have for now, but I hope to have pictures of more stuff very soon!

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Blood Bowl Black Orc Team

 After Greg put on a Blood Bowl game a few months ago, I ordered the boxed game. One of the teams that come in the box is the black orc team. It also includes a trained troll, tokens, balls and a star player. I added small magnets to each base and ball, so they can be moved from player to player with ease. The armour is probably a bit cleaner than should be appropriate for an orc, but even they need to consider showmanship!