Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge XIII Submission #3 - Gandalf the White and the Black Riders

 This submission consisted of two Black Riders and Gandalf the White. Gandalf and the mounted Ringwraith are both Games Workshop metal miniatures that I picked up years ago. The Ringwraith was still in its original blister pack and came as the three piece 'some assembly required' figure. The fit of the two halves of the horse and rider (the sword arm was a separate piece) was a bit off, and there were a few gaps that had to be filled with epoxy putty. The figure of Gandalf is from a 9-figure set called 'Heroes of the West' that also included Aragorn, Faramir, Éomer, Éowyn, Legolas, Gimli, Merry and Pippin from The Return of the King. The Ringwraith on foot (aka 'The Ninth Nazgûl), is a conversion I recently did from an old D&D figure from the 1970s that I found in my bits box. I have no idea who the manufacturer is, but it was originally some kind of spectre consisting of what looked like a monk's habit, but with empty sleeves and cowl. It was a bit smaller than the Games Workshop miniatures, so I built it up with epoxy putty and added armoured hands and a sword. I already had eight Nazgûl in my inventory, five that came with an 'Attack at Weathertop' boxed set, and three others that I purchased from my nephew when he sold off his miniature collection, so this one is the Ninth Nazgûl.

 All three figures were primed black with Vallejo Surface Primer using an airbrush. I then used Vallejo acrylics with a lot of dry brushing to apply the black, white, and various shades of grey to the figures. Gandalf's face and hands were painted with Flat Flesh and given a wash of Citadel Reikland Fleshshade. Finally gun metal and silver were used to paint the swords.


Gandalf flanked by Black Riders on foot and mounted

Black Riders deciding 'discretion is the better part of valour'.

The 'Ninth Nazgûl' with the other eight in the background


A Black Rider acquired years ago with the newly painted one.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Gamma Wolves - The Burg

 Continuing with my Gamma Wolves projects I completed some light mechs for the arcology known as, The Burg. This arcology is formed from the refugees and scientists who fled to the southern tip of Africa (Johannesburg) to escape the apocalypse. Once there, they had to science the s*** out of the place to make a go of it. Genetic engineering resulted in a population that's resistant to radiation and toxins, but are stuck with a 20 year lifespan. In game terms, this results in relying on fairly junior pilots compared to other factions, but are resistant to your mechs reactor radiation. Each action by your mech in the game, puts stress on its nuclear reactor. If you push it too hard, you start to kill the pilot. Depending on the benefits of squeezing out one more action despite the safety risks, you may not be too concerned for the pilots well-being. As such, being able to survive the reactors output might make up for the relative lack of experience.

These models are from Puppetswar and represent 5 light mechs. Light mechs are basically suits of power armor, so these models work nicely. I painted them to match 3 other models I painted a few years ago, which will represent the medium and heavy mechs for the faction.

I forgot to include a model for comparison, but they are the same size as a space marine terminator.

Armed with heavy weapons, missile launchers and a handy buzz saw!

The large one in the center is also from Puppetswar. The other two are Tau Battlesuits from Games Workshop.

Painting Challenge Submission #6 - Spartan AFV for Sons of Horus

Spartan armoured carrier in the colours of the Sons of Horus. Model from Forge World.

Submission number six for the AHPC XIII is yet another subject from GW's "Horus Heresy" setting - here we have a big scary armoured vehicle, a "Spartan", and once more we have the colours and livery of the XVI Legion Astartes, the Sons of Horus. This is a resin model from GW's Forge World studio, enhanced with a couple of plastic iconography bits from the newer "Age of Darkness" range.

Another side profile view - it's quite the beast!

As Dallas said when he painted his Spartan back in 2015, a big appeal of the 30k setting is the sheer scale of everything. The Spartan fits right in. It is at once a big troop carrier - fit to carry just over 20 Space Marines - and also scary combat vehicle, mounting batteries of heavy energy weapons on its side sponsons, and a pair of heavy anti-personnel cannons ("heavy bolters" in GW nerd parlance) in a case mounting over the front. There are armoured doors on the front and sides, so this thing can basically drive over/through/into wherever, and disgorge a large number of terrifying Space Marine warriors into battle. 

Front assault ramp, with heavy weapons to provide covering fire when the Marines dismount.

GW geeks (like me!) will recognize in this vehicle the silhouette of the "Land Raider", one of the earliest plastic tanks created for GW's Warhammer 40,000 setting. When Forge World first started rolling out 30k in 28mm, they brilliantly went back to those old "Rogue-Trader-era" vehicles and either re-created them for the new Horus Heresy setting, or imagined new, upgraded versions. The Spartan is essentially "a Land Raider" but bigger. One can imagine the early Space Marine commanders meeting with the Mechanicum weirdos (the tech priest folks who build things) and pitching them on this - "We need a Land Raider that's like, a double Land Raider?" - and the Mechanicum tech priests wiggling their tendrils and coming up with this thing.

Not quite zero-emissions exhaust system.

And I love it! A spooky, slab-sided armoured menace, topped up with a load of terrifying Space Marines. I've wanted one of these for years! And I've been painting Horus Heresy for 10 years, so why didn't I have one already? Well...there is something special about Curt's painting Challenge that tugs at you to find figures or a model that has been sitting around for years...and here we have one such victim of long procrastination.

You see, these vehicle kits were notorious being hideous to assemble. Those of us who tangle with Forge World products are used to the uneven casting quality and warping of the resin components - which in theory can occur with any resin product, but sure seems to pop up often with Forge World ones, despite the premium price you pay to acquire it. Yet even by these wobbly standards, the Spartan kits always stood out as being a particular beast to assemble. Reports from all corners spoke of horrors - warped pieces, pain-in-the-ass tread segments, etc. I was scared to even try to build mine. 

View from the air...

So enter Steve B. Not only is he a really, really talented painter, but he is a genius at assembling these models. I commissioned him to build and prime TWO of these beasts for me, and he delivered! Magnetized weapon mounts, the whole nine yards! And if you look closely, you can see where, on the top front of the hatch section on the bow of the vehicle, he had to sand and then green-stuff a serious flaw in the fitting! Steve B is an ace - and this vehicle is just the latest addition to my lineup which started originally with his skilled assembly.

Just an idea of the is the Spartan with one the Marines from my earlier post.

Steve did this for me FOUR YEARS ago? Dallas painted his Spartan in 2015, and I have been gawking at it ever since, yet would not pick up the brushes to get started on mine - even with the assembly out of the way. Put another the amount of time that it took me to want these vehicles for my own collection, enough time had passed that GW itself went through the trouble of re-issuing this model as a multi-part plastic kit to include in the new box set for the "Age of Darkness" game. That box came out last summer, and I still had not painted these? Why? Well, I think hobbyists out there can imagine, and I hope relate, to the sorts of things that cause such procrastination. But in particular, this model always intimidated me, even after it was built and primed - the quad weapon battery was not easy to paint, and it is always so hard to get the black base coat in under the treads...oddly, such considerations were reasons to paint something else...

"Family photo" with the Praetor and 20-man tactical squad - all of which can be carried together in the Spartan.

But no more! This Spartan has finally rolled off the painting desk, and is ready to serve the Warmaster and his quest to save humanity from the clutches of the so-called "Emperor"! As a newly painted tank, it will no doubt be immediately zapped in its first game, but as long as it looks great on the table, that will be fine with me :) 

Ok, enough blathering. As one 28mm vehicle, this earned another 20 points toward my 800-point painting target. I also have one more skull for the skull duel! It's on the back, near the exhaust. Like, where else would you put a skull, right?

Thanks for reading - stay tuned for more great submissions from the Fawcett Avenue Conscripts as they continue to tear through AHPC XII. Who knows what Frederick's point total will be by the time this post is live????

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Painting Challenge Submission #5 - Space Marine Praetor, The "Axehole"

Meet "Axehole" - the new Sons of Horus Praetor. Figure from GW.

Building on the Space Marine tactical squad from my fourth submission, here we have a Space Marine "senior officer". As the Space Marines of GW's 30k setting broadly copy/parody the military terminology of the Roman Empire era, the senior officers of a Space Marine Legion are "Praetors". This is a multi-part plastic figure from GW, a counterpoint/accompaniment to the "Sword Praetor" I painted in the fall of 2022. This guy is painted in the colours of the XVI Legion Astartes, the Sons of Horus.

Those armour studs seem more like the early onset of some loser Nurgle disease...

While I cannot stop raving about how much I love the new plastic basic "beakie" Space Marine kits, my views on the plastic Preators which accompany them in the box are much more...specific. The new regular Marines seem to have been carefully and lovingly sculpted by someone with a strong appreciation and affection for the old-time-era of Rogue Trader and the original "Space Marine" game. The new plastic Praetors, however, lack this affection - indeed, it is almost as though some 9th-edition-40k-is-so-awesome-intern who writes for SpikeyBits somehow snuck into the studio and included this design in the new lineup without any grownup noticing. 

Carrying a few skulls to one does...

The skulls...the goofy axe...the out-of-proportion arms (look how short they are - how does he even swing that axe), the studs on the armour which look less like armour studs and more like the early onset of some loser Nurgle-type infection, the impossibly large cloak...if there is one thing a 30k fan dreads, it is the notion that the 40k people in the GW studio might get their hands on the design of the figures. While this fellow does have a "beakie" helmet, he does seem more 40k than 30k. When I first saw these new plastic Praetor figures, in my head I nicknamed this version "the axehole" and I find I can't shake that notion...

A multi-part plastic cloak! WHAT A GREAT IDEA. NOT.

An additional gripe about these models is that the cloak is multi-part. WHY? Who has ever been out there, working on the cloak of a 28mm figure, and saying "Gee, it would be great if this cloak was multi-part, because I have always wanted to spend my scare hobby time glueing small pieces of a cloak together!" NOBODY WANTS THIS. Sigh.

One other frustration with these new Preator figures is the built-in terrain. GW is getting worse and worse for this. Attention figure designers: don't make terrain as part of your models! You think it makes it unique, but instead you ensure they all look the same across all collections, while making it harder for me to match the look of the rest of my army! Nobody buys a figure because it is standing a piece of f*cking rubble! Stop it!

"The Axehole" takes position to encourage his troops...

These new plastic Space Marine officer models are intended, I believe, to be faction-agnostic, as in you could paint them for any of the Space Marine Legions. The Axehole, however, seems to only have one side in mind. Given all the skulls and other nonsense, this fellow does seem to already have decided that "it's time for a change" I painted him up for the Sons of Horus. It seemed about right...he will stride around the battlefield, hoping to intimidate people with that axe, as his arms would be too short to actually hit anything with it in a battle...

Points wise, this is a single 28mm figure, so only worth five points. But he is "skull efficient" - seven skullz on this nutter! Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more...

Friday, January 20, 2023

Painting Challenge Submission #4 - Sons of Horus Tactical Squad

Sons of Horus Tactical Squad, plastic figures from GW.

 For the weekend of the 14th, I did a bit of "Challenge Spam", launching multiple postings on my designated day. The first of these was another 20-man tactical squad for the Sons of Horus in GW's "Horues Heresy" setting.

A view of some of the standard poses for the plastic kit.

Rear detail on the plastics.

There is a wide assortment of hobby interests participating in AHPC XIII, some of whom are indifferent to GW or to 30k/40k (and that's fine, no worries), so it is also an opportunity for an old-time Rogue Trader-era grognard and fan like me to attempt (perhaps in vain) to explain just how fired up I am for the new Horus Heresy plastics overall, and these beakies in particular. It's like GW went into my head, scanned my notion of which box set they should issue, and then did so! 

The Sergeant, leading the advance.

Always keep your scrolls right next to your grenades. Right?

So it stands to reason that my body of work for AHPC XIII would include a fair bit of this stuff...and here is the first batch - a 20-man tactical squad, painted in the fine seafoam green of the XVI Legion Astartes, the Sons of Horus, the Warmaster's own Legion. If you are a dork for the setting, like I am, you will note they are all clad in "Mark VI" armour - the "beakie" Mark! These are all multi-part plastic figures from GW.

Chain-sword-bayonet...peak Space Marine. I love it.

There was heated discussion in the 30k fan community when news of these figures officially broke last year. Concerns were raised over a "re-sizing" of the figures, and GW didn't help by remaining absolutely silent about it and/or talking around it in such a way as to cause people to suspect the worst. In the end, things were fine (at least in my view - YMMV). These Marines are little taller than the others, but not scandalously so. They are more fiddly to assemble than other plastic Marines from the 30k setting, as clearly some artiste-type was allowed to design the plastic frames (two-piece studded shoulder pads???? WTF??? WHY???) but man, on balance, I LOVE them!

Communications specialist on the left, "Vexillary" on the right. While, in general, there are not too many "skullz" on GW's 30k stuff, there are still a few - presumably the skull on the comms array helps ensure good 5G wireless coverage?

By now I have painted something like 90 new tactical marines alone...anyway, let's say that I have a LOT of these to paint, even now, and I'm looking forward to all of it :)

This submission contains 20 figures, all in 28mm scale, so that was good for 100 points. We also get two skullz for the skull duel! Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge XIII Submission #2 - Uruk-hai Scouts and Leaders

 As my second submission for the Challenge, I present 48 Uruk-hai scouts and 2 commanders. This is the first project on my Lord of the Rings "To Do" list, and it adds to the large Uruk-hai force that I completed in March 2021. It consists of two boxes of 24 plastic Uruk-hai Scouts and two different metal versions of Lurtz, all from Games Workshop. One of the boxes I had purchased new, while the other was a secondhand set that I was given. The gifted set needed a fair bit of cleaning, like removing the old paint that was "heavy on silver", trimming some of the rough areas where the figures had been attached to the sprues, and a bit of repair on some of the swords. One sword was missing completely, so I replaced it with some hammered florist wire. The Lurtz figure firing his bow came with the gifted box, and the other was an eBay purchase which came with the upper part of the bow missing. This was repaired with a bit of hammered copper wire.

 Once everything was cleaned up and repaired, some small pebbles were glued to a few of the bases to get some variety, followed by some sand. All the miniatures were then primed black using a rattle can, and painted with acrylics, primarily Vallejo. I used three different browns, two different shades of grey, as well as gunmetal. As a final step I applied a coat of Army Painter Strong Tone Quickshade. While it leaves the miniatures rather glossy, it made all the browns seems richer, and made the swords and armour look appropriately grotty.
Uruk-hai Scout 'out scouting for Hobbits'.
Closeup of the left hand group

Closeup of the right hand group

"Find the Halflings!"

Next stop, Amon Hen!

Idols of Torment Play-Test Game

[Dallas says: Idols of Torment is a really cool dark fantasy skirmish game that the Conscripts have been assisting in developing and playtesting. Have a look here for more information on the setting and the game itself: There's also a blog post on the post-Kickstarter "wrap party" attended by some of the Conscripts, here. Now over to Perry for the latest...]

Hello fellow Eternals!
Apologies for the slightly late post-game report! I didn't write a play-by-play log while the game was on, but I think I'll hit the highlights here. Plenty of pictures below!

The Game:

Scorn (Perry) vs Strife (Dallas) with Eternal John watching.

Rules in Play:
- Standard win scenario with 8 Lost up for grabs (i.e. most Lost reaped or Brutal Victory)
- Guardians (statues) quick setup (4 statues in the centre board)
- Portals quick setup

For those unfamiliar:
Guardians in this situation start as statues. Depending on what happens near them, they turn into demons or angels. We had 2 demons and 2 angels manifest. These "statue" Guardians harass the Idols essentially, protecting the Lost (each in their own way, for their own reasons). They manifest either during FAILED bind/reap Actions (Angel appears) or SUCCESSFUL bind/reap Actions (Demon appears).
Portals allow transport across the board, 4 set up, one in each corner. When an Idol enters one, roll 1d8, then Idol pops out at Portal #1, 2, 3 or 4 or (on a 5 to 8) choose your Portal!

Overall: Guardians were pretty kick ass, and brought a lot of "oh shit!" gameplay. Definitely need to be a bit more tactical around them, and they can definitely be used against your opponent if the situation is right. All of them manifested on round one, which I imagine may be normal, unless a player can't get their Reaper or Corruptor into a reap/bind position (which I think is pretty rare for round 1). Not sure if that is an issue or not, but good to mention, and it would come through with more gameplay.
Portals were cool, and nothing really major to note. A good, decent fun extra rule to throw down. Portals for the quick rules are set up on the corners, but you could place them anywhere the scenario desires, really.

So, here's the quick and dirty: (may not be 100% accurate, lol)

Round 1 The Idols arrive. Echo card forces the Lost to move towards Totems, and 7 of the 8 Lost move towards Scorn's Totem! A virtual bounty to be harvested!! In this first round, both Scorn and Strife corruptors attempt to bind Lost (one succeeds, one fails), and both reapers attempt to reap Lost (one succeeds, one fails): The statues thus manifest into 2 demons and 2 angels (which was good, because we only had 2 angels, lol). Several bloody melees and ranged combats, resulting in several slayers and lurkers going down for each side. An eternal power of Cataclysm slays one of Scorn's slayers as well.

Round 2: The Guardians activate and move to engage Idols. One demon against a Strife stalker, who manages to escape unscathed. An angel against Scorn's Reaper who manages to survive. And an Angel/Demon teamup against a Scorn Slayer who gets ganked! Ganked I say!! The round continues to be a bloody melee. Eternal Power Cataclysm manages to destroy one pesky Angel. Various melees and bindings and reapings continue. Echoform creates a barrier to protect Strife from the Guardians.

Round 3: The Guardians continue to be pains in the eternal ass. Scorn brings a stalker to tie up the angel/demon duo while Scorn's Reaper takes a chance and high tails it the fuck out of there, and succeeds on escaping the backlash! Strife corners a few Lost and harassed them, harvesting at least one. At this point, I believe each side had harvested 2 Lost at least.

Round 4: Scorn's stalker appears through a Portal and ganks Strife's lurker. But Strife's other lurker shoots Scorn's other stalker in the back (the one keeping the angel/demon guardians tied up). More echoform barriers appear. It continues to be a bloodbath. More reapings. I believe this round is when Scorn's reaper takes a hit to the kidneys and loses 1 health (can't remember who caused the hit...angel? demon? it's all fuzzy). At this point each side has three Lost, leaving two on the board. Eternal John checks the Aeons of Fate, and decides he needs to see how this plays out (i.e. he rolls a 4+ so the game continues).

Round 5: Two demons jump on Strife's lurker and gang bang it into cosmic submission. In one corner, Strife's corruptor and reaper fight with Scorn's corruptor and reaper! Reaper vs Reaper action! It's crazy! Strife's corruptor makes a tactical decision and goes for a reaping and succeeds! Both the Lost and corruptor disappear. One Lost left! As a desperate move, Scorn's stalker tries to use a portal but comes out the wrong one! Eternal John checks the Cosmic Scales and decides that he's watched enough bloodshed and mayhem for tonight (i.e. rolls a 3) and the Echo fades away.

A great game, right down to the wire in some respects. Bloody as hell, and I was very surprised to see both teams' reapers and corruptors in such close proximity! Crazy fun!
Dalla's move to sacrifice his corruptor to gain his 4th Lost was the winning move for sure.
Thanks again to Dallas for hosting, and for John's cool new terrain, especially that board with the Lost deployment zone, so sweet and easy to set up! (the zone is the slightly reddish area of squares in the centre).

Looking forward to trying out some more scenario rules. I really want to try a few "terrain" specific ones: the gates of heaven sounds REALLY awesome. I also really want to try The Bridge as I do have some reservations about it. ;)

Till next time!

- Eternal Perry

[Dallas adds: I wanted to include a pic of John's excellent foam gameboard. He's subtly delineated the Lost deployment zone there in the middle. Most of the other terrain in the pics are also WIP by John - outstanding work man!]

Painting Challenge Submission #3 - Rebel Alliance Pathfinders

Rebel Pathfinders and a heavy support weapon for "Star Wars".

My third submission to AHPC XIII returns to the Star Wars setting, and picks things up right where I left off at AHPC XII. This is a group of Rebel Alliance troopers - most of them "pathfinders" intended to supplement the ranks of Cassian Andor and Jyn Erso's team that I painted last March. There is also one rebel trooper ready to employ a liberated Imperial heavy laser against its previous owners. All of these are independent 3D sculpts, printed in the unique and oddly large scale of the "Star Wars: Legion" game.

View showing the rear of the fatigues, and some of the kit you can put on their belts etc.

The "Legion" rules themselves are...not for me. I find them almost unplayably baroque, riven with mindless, card-driven complexity for no good reason and requiring a gaming table that fills rapidly with clouds of chit-style markers. 

But sometimes you need to separate the figures from the rules. "Legion" has bad rules IMO, but a lot of great figures which have been a lot of fun to paint. And there are a great variety of rules you can use out there, so I find I am more and more "stuck in" to collecting and painting figures for this setting. 

Painting Star Wars figures is also good for a sense of connection to my hobby roots. Since relocating to Ontario, I've no longer been able to take for granted that a "Star Wars" game could be whipped together at a moment's notice (one of the many things that is so great about the Winnipeg group on this blog). So in the past couple of years, I have started painting up/collecting my own "Star Wars" figures and models - when I see them, I think of my friends, and hey, they are also ready for a game at any time should folks end up visiting, right?

Selection of the Pathfinders - equipped with A-300 blasters in "long range" configuration.

So that brings us around to these specific figures - the "Pathfinders" are something of a separate, and perhaps more elite (ish?) class of Rebel Alliance infantry. I think of them more as "the troopers who fought at Scarif in 'Rogue One'" - and in this sense, they are different from "the troopers who fought at Echo Base" or "the commandos that fought on Endor" etc.

"Take cover!"

This distinction was not lost on Fantasy Flight Games, and they issued a "Rebel Pathfinders" box set. Those are nice figures, but the pack is quite specific, and you really cannot use the box to build up a more generic force of "Pathfinder" type troops the way you can with the more generic Rebel infantry in the starter box. I really like the look of the Rebels who fought on the the islands at the Imperial base on Scarif, and wished I could find more troopers with that look to add to my collection. 

Officer in the middle with a pistol - and the set also included a discarded Shore Trooper helmet, so I put that on the base to mark him out. The other two Pathfinders are carrying A-300 blasters in their short range, carbine-style configuration.

What to do? It was hardly a serious problem - I just had enter the vast, and incredibly talented world of 3D sculptors and printers dedicated to Star Wars! Dave V had some awesome suggestions for me, including the figures you see here. This "Modular Pathfinder Battalion" was a bit pricey, but fit the bill perfectly - the right mix of helmets, of fatigues and the different blasters used by the "Pathfinders", including the odd rifles and carbines that have what seem to be air-cooled barrels...that makes no sense, but why should it, right? I love it. 

Like so many good projects, these sat in the "pending pile" for months, and as AHPC XIII loomed, I thought it would be good to get them done! They are painted in colours to match the "Pathfinders" from the FFG box I painted last March.

A "liberated" E-web blaster - the sculptor did a great job on this 3D printed design - the Rebel trooper looks to be really enjoying using this weapon against the Empire!

When shopping online, it is very rare that I buy just ONE thing, so when I was purchasing these Pathfinders, I spotted the figure of the Rebel trooper with the heavy laser and, well, it just sort of click-fell into my online basket, as things do. The colours on her are only slightly different, so she could fight with the Pathfinders, or with the more generic Rebel infantry I had painted previously

Another view of the gunner. I'm sure nothing will go wrong if a stray blaster shot hits that generator, right?

I now have enough Pathfinder-style Rebel infantry for a fun scenario where the brave Alliance troops must launch a daring raid on an Imperial base - and really, is there any other kind of raid, right? But the pendulum in my collection, having swung to the Rebel side, looks like it needs to get back to the bad guys...hopefully there will be more to share in that regard as this edition of the Challenge proceeds.

For the Rebellion!

This added 89 points toward my tally in the Challenge - a decent step toward my 800 point goal. Thanks for reading - stay tuned for more AHPC XIII entries - not only from me, but watch as Dallas, Mike, Dave and Frederick join the fray as well (Federick in particular continues to deliver crushing 'points bombs' that keep him near the top of scoring table - well done!). Cheers!