Sunday, April 29, 2012

Hasslefree Miniatures Space Elf


(Click the photos for larger images.)

As readers of the blog can easily guess, I am heavily into space elves. However, such pointy-eared freaks are not limited to Games Workshop. Hasslefree Miniatures has a very nice one in their 28mm scale line: HFS001 Ieuan.

The sculptor, Kev White, sculpts with great skill, having a very good sense of anatomy and stance. This figure radiates a real sense of power.

After cleaning up the figure, I added a plastic gem to its chest, cut from a GW Dire Avenger accessory, and I modified the stance slightly to take into account the slightly sloping resin base I got from Dragon Forge Design's Lost Empires line. I pinned the fig to the base using brass rod into the left leg.

The figure was primed black, and zenithal highlights were airbrushed in with flat white.

The face, gemstone and bio-weapon were undercoated in various acrylics and layered in thin glazes of artists' oil paints. The figure's face has a lot of character, and oils allow me to bring that out.


The hair and bodysuit/armour received multiple layers of Citadel washes. The white of the zenithal highlighting really shines through, making areas like the shoulders and calves pop.



The base also received Citadel washes. As with all my figs, I added some felt to the bottom of the base.



I am using the figure as a Fire Dragon Exarch armed with a Dragon's Breath Flamer. It is not usable in "official" Games Workshop events, but that may be less of an issue now in North America, since GW is no longer supporting their Tournament Circuit nor the 'Ard Boyz tournament series.

(From what I hear on the grapevine, Ed Spettigue is gone from GW. He was the organizer of these events. I had a great time at last year's Throne of Skulls torunament in Las Vegas, NV. It was well organized, and we players were treated very well, what with the included meals, open bar in the gaming hall, and the like. The biggest hobby events, like Adepticon, are all run now as independents.)

I've already used the figure in one game. Contrary to my usual experience, this newly painted fig survived the battle!

In addition to Hasslefree, there's several other companies making figures that are eminently usable in Warhammer and Warhammer 40K games. Examples include Raging Heroes, Scibor Miniatures, Avatars of War, and Chapter House Studios. They offer unique alternatives for heroes or specialists, or to fill gaps when GW doesn't manufacture a model for a unit listed in their codices.

For these photos I used an OPTEX Portable Studio and Lighting Kit, the same make and model that Conscript Dallas purchased awhile ago. I reccommend it highly.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bloody April - 1916 style!

Wings of War Campaign, Part 4

Scenario: Spring 1916. After weeks of fighting in this sector, the Aéronautique Militaire is caught in a bloody stalemate against the men and machines of Die Fliegertruppen des deutschen Kaiserreiches. Which side can gain the advantage - the French or the Germans?

Last Wednesday night I ran another Wings of War game in our ongoing 1916 campaign. From the last game, the Germans and the French tied the scenario, so we had to refight the mission again...

Mission 1: Battle Over The Trenches

Looking east, at the bottom of the photo below a pair of French Nieuport 17's can be seen. In the distance, a pair of German Albatross D-III's can be made out. Conscript Frederick, running the German planes, looks on.


The French planes eased south a bit, to try and double team the German flight leader's plane (painted in the colours of Hermann Göring!). The German wingman angled in, to support his superior.


Flying head on at each other, the two lead ships fired at point blank range. The German flight leader's twin Spandaus were surely aimed better, since the silver Nieuport was heavily damaged and set on fire. (Actually, the Germans were really hot with respect to the draw of damage cards for the entire evening.)


As the two flight leaders passed each other, it was the turn of their respective wingmen to try conclusions. Again, Spandaus trumped Vickers, as the camouflaged Nieuport started to emit smoke.


In a tricky move, the lead German plane pulled up just short of a stall, and applied full rudder to yaw his aircraft around. This put his aircraft facing down at the French wingman. The wingman was shot out of the air, crash landing into No-Man's Land.


The remaining French plane prepared to perform a similar manouver, placing the appropriate cards for an Immelmann. However, the flames proved too much for his airframe. At the start of the turn I drew a "5" for damage from the fire, and the last French pilot was also forced down into No-Man's Land, wounding him in the process.


This was a decisive win for the Germans, who gained priority and choice of the next scenario.

The night was young, so we decided to play another game. As the victor, Frederick elected to play another scout vs. scout scenario.

Mission 2b: Dawn Patrol

Drawing randomly, both sides had a ground target, whose identity was kept secret from their opponent (for example, were they anti-aircraft gunbs?).

Looking west this time, the Germans flew with the flight leader slightly trailing the junior man. To the west and north, the two Fremch planes can be seen.


In a banking turn, the German flight leader ended up following the other pilot's plane.


The French also adopted a line astern formation, and the two lead ships closed the  range.


The German wingman overshot the French leader's plane. However, the German flight leader poured on a deadly fire. Unbeknownst to Frederick, I drew 9 points of damage cards; added to the bonus for range, that was 11 of 12 damage points gone in one phase of shooting! Plus, the French leader was spewing smoke.

The French wingman squeezed off a burst at the leading German plane, but his guns jammed.


Choosing the better part of valour, the silver Nieuport banked south and dived back west to the French lines. The other Frenchman, with both guns jammed, Immelmenned out of the fight and dived west.


As the game closed, the victorious German planes decided to break off their pursuit . They couldn't catch the Frenchman and, since he was flying towards the ground target chosen at the beginning, he might be drawing them into an amubush from ground fire.


"Cheese eating surrender monkey!"

  • Frederick's German Flight Leader: 2 (two sorties flown) + 8 (two planes shot down) + 2 (drove off enemy aircraft) = 12 campaign points
  • Frederick's German Wingman: 2 (two sorties flown) + 2 (drove off enemy aircraft) = 4 campaign points
  • Dave's French Flight Leader:  2 (two sorties flown) -4 (being shot down) = -2 campaign points
  • Dave's Fench Wingman: 2 (two sorties flown) -4 (being shot down) = -2 campaign points
This was another decisive victory for the Germans. For the next game, the Germans will get to choose between three scenarios:

  • Mission 3a: Hold The Line
  • Mission 3b: Balloon Busting
  • Mission 3c: Supply Search

Monday, April 23, 2012

Rogue Trader Marines - Reinforcements

Reinforcements for Pedro Cantor.
Quick post with a couple of reinforcing models for my small collection of Rogue Trader-era Crimson Fists.  Pedro Cantor's detachment of survivors is a small one, but I think in the fluff it says they ultimately encountered some other Marines who had been previously detached to the New Rynn City area before disaster enveloped the Crimson Fist's fortress-monastery.  With this, I am hoping to expand the current small troop of 15 marines to about 30 (three squads) with perhaps a dreadnought and one or two vehicles.

Two different styles of old-school Marine back packs.
The all-metal beakie marines are great figures, but I boxed myself into a bit of a corner with my initial project by using fancy metal shoulder pads.  I can't keep that up - not only because the metal bits are bit expensive, but because the metal figures are not very easy to convert to use with the current generation of shoulder pads.  That meant trying to paint the Crimson First logo on the shoulder pads free-hand....I suck at free-hand logos, but I thought I would give it a try on these two models.

This classic figure sure makes the bolt gun look heavy...
One marine is carrying a basic bolt gun, and the other fellow is carrying a heavy bolter.  The marine carrying the heavy bolter is an old-time favourite of mine - it was fun to work on this model.  The defenders of New Rynn City will have a bit more firepower.

Inspirational photo of Heavy Bolter Marine from the GW Compendium.

Of all the various heavy bolter models in GW's time, this is my favourite - makes the weapon look more like a SAW-style support weapon.
Finally, a big thank you to the blog readers and followers - thanks to your helpful tips and links, I was able to puzzle out how to assemble the Army Land Speeder. 

This looks pretty close...
Now I just need to figure out how to mount's pretty heavy.  I think magnets may be called for - I suck with those, so we'll see how this goes...

Friday, April 20, 2012

Rogue Trader Tarantula Gun and Servitor

"Welcome to our checkpoint!"
A couple of small Rogue Trader projects finished.  Up first is a Tarantula weapon system, with crewman.  The Tarantula mounted pairs of heavy weapons - usually lascannons, but could be all sorts of different weapon systems.  This was before you got screwed by things like "twin-linked", so it actually counted as two lascannon shots.

Back in the Rogue Trader time, you could mount a large variety of weapons - from grenade launchers and heavy bolters to multi-meltas.  You could even mount pairs of conversion beamers on to the system.  Can you imagine how long it would take to resolve the volleys of beamer shots as they ate up terrain as well as troops, and figuring out where each beam finally petered out?
This will come in handy for the Imperial Guard garrison in New Rynn City as they await the next move of Trhugg Bullneck and the Orks in our mini-campaign.

Surely a Black and Decker wrench?
The Servitor is quite a bit larger than a regular RT-era human trooper.
I also added a servitor model (or at least what I believe to be a servitor model).  Servitors accompany the Imperial Guard vehicles and heavy equipment on the table, and can fix vehicles and damaged weapons.  My impression of the Servitor models from the Rogue Trader era was of a small figure, but as you can see the model is pretty hefty - larger than the Imperial Army gun crewman.  I guess they toughened them up before converting them to walking mechanical least he looks strong enough to fix a Predator with that wrench.

Penance for the Emperor...
So what's next? How about a squad of Penal Battalion troopers?  Remember the, er, "motivational collars"?

Sadly the castings have a mono-pose look (after all, I think they only ever did one real variant of this type of figure) but they will make for an interesting addition to my Imperial Guard collection.  These are up next on the painting line.
WTF is this??? Not sure what to do next...
Finally, I was excited to acquire an old Imperial Army Land Speeder from E-bay. Only problem the ###k does this thing go together?????  Will be a while before I figure this one out...I may try and convert one of the current plastic ones to a Guard crew instead...

So that's all for now - watch for some more finished work pictures soon.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Off to Salute!

Just about to head off across the pond to meet Conscript Curt in London to take in Salute 2012 - the biggest wargames show on the planet...? Should be an awesome time!

Meanwhile here's a couple of recently-completed figures to ogle...

Rogue-Trader-era Chaplain. Suitably ominous looking but not as OTT as current versions. Copplestone ftw!

Original Plague Marine, converted with a plastic tentacle from some other GW kit. Sacrilege to hack up a 25-year-old model, perhaps, but I already have several copies of this model in my Death Guard army.

Chaos Mutation: face of a Plaguebearer! Another great old '80s sculpt.

Recently acquired transports for the Howling Griffons RT Marines. Thanks to Conscript John for these. He has kept them immaculately - including all the fragile railings and antennae from the original sprues - not in picture. Perhaps to be joined after Salute by a Land Raider Armoured Proteus...?

Anyway, be good and see you when I get back!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

"Eggs On Legs" - RT-Era Sentinels from GW

"So, which low bidder submitted this design to the Imperium?"
Our Rynn's World mini-campaign to mark the the 25th anniversary of Rogue Trader has been a good prod to add some more Rogue Trader-era elements to my Imperial Guard force.  Last week I finished an Imperial Guard Assault Squad - and just in time for last week's game I also added a couple of Imperial Guard Sentinels.

The graphics from the stat-sheet make the Sentinel look tough!
 I cannot precisely remember the year these things were released, but I remember I was pretty jazzed to have some mobile, walking firepower for my plastic Guardsmen. Then I got one of the models - it was certainly and adventure to put together! Each leg is four different parts, all designed so you can articulate them any way you like.  The trouble is that they are so slight, and the body of the vehicle so heavy, that you are severely tempting fate to attempt anything more than a slight forward step (unless you are prepared to devote significant time whittling away at pinning etc.).

Roomy cabin for the pilot - NOT.
Laspistol hangs on the outside for backup shooting purposes.
The adventure continued this time - it was touch and go to get these things built in any sort of fashion that would allow them to hold up on the game table. The easily available large round plastic bases give these models a much better platform to work with (the large square bases with the original models were not actually that large).
The model has ladder rungs on the back, to maintain the illusion that the pilot could actually leave the cockpit voluntarily.
As with nearly all of the early GW models, the lack of skulls on everything is refreshing.
The multi-laser was a pretty good weapon back in the Rogue Trader era, with high strength (6), a negative on the save modifier (-1), a long range (60 inches!) and the ability for "following fire".  And of course the pilot had a trusty laspistol for backup.  As the Orc players discovered last week, the laspistol was actually a decent weapon back in "the day" as well ("what do you mean minus one save modifier - are you sure?!?").

The fact that the pilot needs to hang something like that on the outside of the hull says something about how crammed that thing is - in fact, short of assembling the thing around the pilot, I don't know how they actually sat in those things!

Sentinels ready to move out against the Ork boyz.
The Sentinel has gone through a couple of rounds of changes since this original model was released.  Today's plastic Sentinel is a very fine kit, and I quite like the look of it.  But it was fun to put a couple of these old things together for Rogue Trader, and see them out on the table last week (extra bonus that they models survived the game without breaking...way to go super-glue!).

Up next on the nostalgia train is a Tarantula gun unit, and an Imperial Army Landspeeder! Stay tuned for pics as those projects move along...

Meanwhile, there will be a brief pause in our Rynn's World Campaign owing to the travel plans of key Fawcett Avenue members - but not for long.  Watch for hostilities resume later this spring! Someone on TMP mentioned a Battle At The Farm follow-up scenario of some sort from WD 94 (or 96?) - if anyone has any specific info on that, we would love to hear from you! In the meantime, we are plotting the next encounter on Rynn's World, and adding new models.  I'm hoping Thrugg - thought lost during our Battle At The Farm - may have in fact made it back for some, er, "medikal treatment" from a Mad Doc...

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Battle for Rynn's World - Game 2 Battle Report

Rynn's World Planetary Defence Force Company 6 
On Thursday evening we played the second game in our "Battle for Rynn's World" mini-campaign commemorating the 25th anniversary of the publication of Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader. In the first game, the "Battle at the Farm", Thrugg Bullneck's Space Ork Raiders were repulsed by Captain Pedro Cantor's Crimson Fist Space Marines. The victory was not without cost, however - among the Space Marine casualties was Captain Cantor himself!

The second episode of the campaign involves a seriously wounded Captain Cantor and some surviving Marines attempting a link-up with local militia and elements of an Imperial Guard force, on the outskirts of New Rynn City.
Cantor's surviving Space Marines and Imperial Guard Assault Squad
Space Ork force

Cantor and his Marines move on to the table from the south edge, their objective being for Cantor to leave the table from the north edge by the end of turn 8. Some Orks start on-table, as well as the militia squad; the rest of the forces arrive in escalating fashion.
Orks deployed in the cover of some craters

Keeping a careful watch for Cantor...

PDF militia deployed in the outskirts of the city

Cantor and his men move on-table...

As Cantor and his men moved onto the table, the IG Assault Squad arrived from reserve to challenge the Orks, already whittled down a bit from shooting by the militia.
Very impressive Assault Squad - note plasma guns!

IG Sentinels - the infamous "eggs on legs" - also arrived from the northern table edge...
...accompanied by a massive Predator tank!
The Guardsmen boldly deployed surrounding the Ork-held crater, peppering its occupants with surprising deadly laspistol fire...

Ork Super-Attack Onslaughter Dreadnoughts arrived from reserve, one deploying from the middle of the eastern table edge, the other at the northern part of it to challenge the Marines.

Predator and militia moved out to meet Cantor and friends, who had made it about halfway across the table before being shot up by the Orks. As they sheltered, hidden, in a wood, the Assault Squad moved towards their position...

...only to be confronted by the Dreadnought and some surviving Boyz who caused a few casualties.
The second Ork Dreadnought roasted the remnants of the Marine squad to the south

Mention must be made of IG Lieutenant "Mad Phil" McMadd, who single-handedly killed or routed the entire Ork command squad. First he charged the Ork carrying a flamer - Ork missed, was killed with a chainsword. rest of the squad failed morale and fled. Then he charged the Ork with the missile launcher - was hit with a krak missile but his copy of the "Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer" he kept in his breast pocket evidently deflected the missile - no wound. Command squad fled again... and kept running... put that man in for a promotion!
Meantime the Ork Dread scuffled in the woods with the Eggs.

Cantor running as fast as his tri-bladder can carry him... but time is running out...
"Die, ork scum!!!"

The sweet smell of barbecuing Grot...

End of the line for Pedro - "missed it by that much"... The Pedro-philes in the crowd are disappointed by the Captain missing his escape by mere millimeters... I think we would have called the game an Ork win...
"OK, so boxcars on a Ld check is good, right?" for the horrifying incompetence of the Ork commander, [name redacted]. After seeing the rest of his squad carved up by a chainsword-wielding maniac, he decided that wild-eyed panic was the better part of valour and fled, never to be heard from again.

Another great game of RT from the mind of Conscript Greg B.! Thanks to Greg for running the charts and bringing out his stunning marines and Guard, and to Conscripts Mike A., Mike F., Kevin, Dave V., and Brian for coming out! We'll pick up the thread again in a couple of weeks... after Thrugg Bullneck's visit to the local Bad Doc for some cybernetic augmentation...?